Freshfields instructed in Vue Entertainment MBO

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has landed instructions from its new clients Boston Ventures and Clarity Partners on a management buyout of cinema operator Vue Entertainment.

US private equity houses Boston Ventures and Clarity, together with Legal & General Ventures, sold their shareholdings in the cinema operator to a management team led by chief executive Tim Richards for £350m.

Bank of Scotland backed the incumbent management team, which acquired a controlling 51 per cent stake in Vue, with the bank taking a minority stake in the business.

Vue’s market share of the UK and Irish box office has increased to more than 20 per cent in the past two years. The company now runs 55 cinemas, with 544 screens and 126,351 seats, which attract more than 30 million cinema-goers a year.

The Freshfields team was led by London corporate partner Laurie McFadden with assistance from corporate associates David Jackson and Julia Tarvin. Boston-based Ropes & Gray, led by Phil Smith, also advised Boston Ventures and Clarity on the deal. Meanwhile, Travers Smith partner David Innes and DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary’s Mel Sims represented the management and Bank of Scotland respectively.