Screenvision Lands New Controlling Owner

Screenvision, one of the two big cinema rep firms, has a new controlling owner. U.K.-based ITV Plc and Technicolor announced Monday (Sept. 27) an agreement to sell their majority stake in Screenvision to Shamrock Capital Growth Fund II, a private equity fund focused on media, entertainment and communications investments, for $80 million cash.

As part of the transaction, ITV will sell its entire 50 percent stake in Screenvision to Shamrock. Technicolor, will retain a minority stake and continue to provide Screenvision with film and digital services. Carmike Cinemas will also become a minority shareholder in Screenvision as part of its amended exhibitor agreement with Screenvision.

Cinema advertising is on a roll, but Screenvision has become the clear No. 2 to National CineMedia in terms of reach (27 million monthly viewers versus NCM’s 38.5 million), per Nielsen’s Fourth Screen Report. Earlier this year, the rep firm lost its three top executives. All three exited suddenly and without any acknowledgment or comment from Screenvision or its owners.

ITV has made no secret that it was trying to get out of the cinema ad business; Screenvision has been on the block since Jan. 2009. “We have always maintained our view that Screenvision is a strong business with great potential, but as we publicly stated, Screenvision was a non-core holding of ITV and therefore, we are certain it is in great hands with its new owners,” said Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV.

Los Angeles-based Shamrock Holdings, the private investment fund of the Disney family, has invested in a number of media companies, including MediaStorm, Premiere Retail Networks, Modern Luxury and Publishing Group of America.

“We have known and have followed the Screenvision story for many years and have always been impressed with its expansive network of over 150 theatrical partners and inventive advertising solutions it offers to its over 4,000 advertising partners,” said Stephen Royer, managing director of Shamrock. “Screenvision is a compelling advertising buy given its captive audience reach, over 15,000 screens throughout the U.S., and its expansive sales offerings. We are thrilled to be partnering with the current management of Screenvision to build from here.”