GSC purchases MBO Cinemas' assets to strengthen leadership position

KUALA LUMPUR: PPB Group Bhd's cinema arm Golden Screen Cinemas’ (GSC) acquisition of the majority of MBO Cinemas' assets is expected to contribute towards a healthy cash flow and strengthen its leadership position in Malaysia.

PPB Group managing director Lim Soon Huat said the exercise represented a strategic move and good opportunity to diversify GSC's revenue, especially with the timely vaccination rollout now happening.

However, he did not disclose the value of acquisition as the group is bound by the confidentiality agreement.

"Although 2020 has been a worst year for cinema industry, we believe with the improvement due to vaccination and gradual opening of cinemas worldwide, the acquisition would be a good opportunity and fits well for GSC’s cinema network,” he said during PPB’s virtual press and analyst briefing today.

On Feb 23, GSC signed an Asset Sale Agreement to acquire the majority of MBO Cinemas’s assets. The deal is expected to be concluded by end of June this year.

GSC chief executive officer Koh Mei Lee said a rebranding exercise under the name of GSC would be carried out once the process has been completed.

Although the year 2021 would be a slow pick up for GSC, she said the cinema operator expects gradual recovery in the third and fourth quarter of 2021, towards a huge portion of meaningful recovery in the year 2022.

"We believe COVID-19 pandemic is a temporary setback for the industry and thus, more content is expected to be coming on screen soon,” she said.

On co-production, she said GSC would be looking into increasing more content, with five productions of local content by GSC Movies ready on the plate as for now.

"We also hope to optimise GSC’s unit selling points in order to enhance the technology and assets which allow us to deliver more enriching cinema experience,” she said.

To date, GSC has a total of 343 screens in 34 locations in Malaysia.

PPB Group is also looking at expanding GSC’s food and beverages services as a part of its revenue diversification initiative with the introduction of Happy Food Co, a cafe to be established across selected GSC cinemas.

"The first cafe is expected to be launched in Southkey, Johor Bahru in the second half of 2021,” Koh added. - Bernama

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