Russian tycoon Alexander Mamut has acquired the country's largest cinema chain, Cinema Park, and is reportedly in negotiations to buy another theater group in what would be the biggest consolidation ever in the Russian movie industry.
A representative for Mamut's investment company, A&NN Investments, was quoted by the Russian business daily Kommersant as saying that the Cinema Park deal has been closed.
According to the report, Mamut is also closing in on another major Russian cinema chain, Formula Kino. The deal would create a super-player in the industry that has been a rather tight race so far.
Cinema Park, Russia's largest cinema chain, runs 39 theaters, mostly located outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, and accounts for 7.5 percent of the market. Formula Kino, the sector's No. 2 company, has 35 theaters and a 5.9 percent market share.
Mamut owns Moscow's main art house movie theater Pioner and recently rented the city's iconic cinema Khudozhestvenny in exchange for its major renovation, estimated to cost about 1 billion rubles ($17.6 million).
Mamut also owns the media group Rambler & Co and book publisher Azbuka-Atticus.