Belgian cinema operator dcinex has acquired a controlling stake in Cinema Next and rebranded the UK business.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cinema Next will extend its activities and become the exhibitor services arm of dcinex in the UK. The company will also become the flagship of the new consulting business of dcinex in Europe.
The Light Cinemas, another company owned by the Cinema Next partners, operator of the Light Cinema New Brighton, is unaffected by the takeover.
The new-look dcinex UK consultancy will start its exhibitors' direct sales, support and maintenance operations in the UK as of January 2013. Keith Pullinger, currently director of Cinema Next, will become country general manager and director of dcinex UK.
Pullinger said: "Joining dcinex will give us the unique opportunity to support our clients from initial advice through to execution and beyond."
dcinex Exhibitor Services provides cinemas with financing, training, maintenance and support services to cinemas.
Till Cussmann, vice-president of exhibitor services of dcinex, said: "Thanks to Keith and the field operations team we are setting in place in the UK, we will be able to better serve our existing UK clients and extend our footprint in the country."
John Sullivan, director of Cinema Next, will become head of consulting activities and director of dcinex UK. His role will be to grow the current consulting business of Cinema Next outside the UK, leveraging the dcinex client base.
Sullivan said: "We have been advising real estate firms and exhibitors to improve cinema design and operations for more than a decade now. We are happy to join with dcinex to grow that business throughout Europe."
Liege-based dcinex collaborated with Cinema Next to equip cinemas in Romania. Serge Plasch, chief executive of dcinex, said: "This transaction is clearly a major step for dcinex as it will enable our existing UK clients to get direct support from dcinex. On top, leveraging the consulting know how of Cinema Next will open another growth avenue for dcinex."