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The HOYTS Group is an Australian group of companies, including Hoyts Exhibition, Hoyts Kiosk and Val Morgan. It currently has two components: Hoyts Cinema, which incorporates the chain of successful cinema complexes in Australia and New Zealand with more than 450 screens and over 55,000 seats; Val Morgan, Australia and New Zealand's leading national supplier of cinema screen advertising with network coverage of over 2,000 cinema screens, and largest digital out of home network, comprising 8,800 screens in over 1,800 locations.
|Industry||Film exhibition, film distribution, cinema advertising|
|Australia, New Zealand|
|Damian Keogh (Group CEO)
Stephen Watson (Group CFO)Guy Burbidge (MD – Val Morgan)
Number of employees
The Hoyts Group CEO, Damien Keogh, was appointed to the role in 2014.
In 2015, Hoyts was acquired by the Wanda Group, a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.
At the start of the 20th century, Dr. Arthur Russell, a successful dentist, purchased a share in a small touring circus-type tent show incorporating magic and moving pictures.
Russell also performed shows at St George's Hall in Bourke Street, Melbourne, and in 1909 moving pictures was the only attraction. Russell eventually negotiated a long lease for St George's Hall with the purpose of opening a Picture Palace called Hoyt's Pictures. By the time he died at the end of World War I, Hoyts had expanded into the suburbs of Melbourne, and into Sydney.
On September 29, 1926, Hoyts and two other companies, Electric Theatres Pty. Ltd. and Associated Theatres Pty. Ltd., merged to become Hoyts Theatres Limited. In 1930 the Fox Film Corp. (now Twentieth Century Fox) acquired majority of shares in Hoyts Theatres Ltd.(The Argus 3 September 1930 p9)
In August 1982, Twentieth Century Fox sold Hoyts to Stardawn Investments, a group of four Melbourne businessmen. In April 1985, the Fink family subsequently bought out the other partners to become the sole owner.
In 1987, the corporation was restructured and two of the companies in the corporation were listed on the Australian Stock Exchange: Hoyts Media and Hoyts Entertainment. However, the company that owned the cinemas, Hoyts Cinemas, was not floated until 1996. The years between 1987 and 1996 saw considerable expansion for Hoyts, expanding in Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Following Leon Fink's death in 1993, the Hoyts organisation was sold to Hellman & Friedman and Lend-Lease. The company eventually went public in 1995.
In 1999, Hoyts celebrated its 90th anniversary and was ranked the seventh largest cinema exhibitor in the world. In the same year, the late Kerry Packer's private family company, Consolidated Press Holdings, bought the chain for $620 million. After that, Hoyts began to sell off international cinemas except for some New Zealand cinemas.
In 2004, it joined forces with Village Roadshow and AHL to bail out Val Morgan Cinema Advertising, eventually taking their stake to 100% in 2005. In December that year, PBL and West Australian Newspapers purchased the company from Consolidated Press Holdings.
In 2007, Hoyts was sold to Sydney-based private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners. The sale valued the company at A$440 million.
In October 2008, Hoyts announced a takeover bid for Australian Multiplex Cinemas (AMC). The purchase did not proceed, although at the time Hoyts still hoped to return to Queensland, where previously they had owned theatres in Brisbane and a three cinema complex in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
In 2010, Hoyts acquired the Berkeley Cinema Group in New Zealand and Australian Multiplex Cinema to re-enter the Queensland market.
In December 2014, Hoyts was bought by Chinese billionaire Sun Xishuang, through his investment company ID Leisure Ventures.
On 2 June 2015 Wanda Cinema Line, a subsidiary of Dalian Wanda Group, purchased Hoyts from ID Leisure Ventures. ("China's Wanda Buys Australia's Hoyts Multiplex Chain". Retrieved 3 June 2015)
Hoyts Distribution was the film distribution arm of the Group until 2012. It existed in its own right in the 1980s- early 1990s, and was later merged with the distribution operations of Sony Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. In 2002, the company was brought back to life, distributing primarily films produced by Nine Films and Television, Channel 9's film production arm, and major independent studios, such as Lions Gate Entertainment. In July 2012 it was acquired by StudioCanal.
Val Morgan holds the advertising rights to virtually all advertising screens in Australia and almost all screens in New Zealand.
Val Morgan's sister company, VMO, operates a fully digital out-of-home advertising network in four key environments: shopping centres, health clubs, service stations and office towers.