Gregg Cashes In On Cinema Chain

Former Clear Channel Entertainment chairman for Europe Paul Gregg has sold his family-owned cinema chain to market leader Vue for £20 million.

Gregg originally joined CCE forerunner SFX Entertainment in 1999, after selling the American giant his Apollo Leisure Group for a reported £120 million.

He hung on to the cinema business and grew it in 2002 when buying back 18 of the buildings that had been part of the Apollo chain.

In the same year he bowed out of CCE and four years later sold his 23 percent share of Everton soccer club to entertainment entrepreneur and Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl for an estimated £15 million.

At the time the Daily Telegraph reported that Gregg was bailing out of the Merseyside team because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with club chairman Bill Kenwright.

The Apollo cinema chain, which now has 14 outlets and more in the pipeline, is best known for its screens in London’s Piccadilly Circus.

However, the business is reported to have lost money while trying to compete with Vue, Odeon and Cineworld, which have about three-quarters of the market between them.

The private equity-backed Vue now has 85 UK multiplex cinemas.