AIG exits Turkish cinema company

The direct investment arm of AIG Investments has sold its 14.15 percent stake in Turkey’s largest chain of movie theaters.

AIG Capital has exited the first investment from its Turkish fund with the sale of its stake in AFM Uluslararasi Film Produksiyon (AFM Cinemas). AIG was part of a consortium that sold a 51.91 percent stake in the cinema chain to A1 Group, an emerging markets direct investment group within Russia’s Alfa Group Consortium, for $28.5 million (€18.8 million).

AIG’s Blue Voyage fund held roughly 14.15 percent of AFM, which is the largest cinema chain in Turkey with 32 theaters and 183 screens across 12 cities.

Though financial details of the original purchase price were not disclosed, at least one Turkish private equity industry blog estimated Blue Voyage paid $7 million in 2000 for its stake. An AIG spokeswoman declined to comment.

“Since the time of AIG Capital Partners’ investment, we have worked together to execute on our expansion strategy, take the company public on the Istanbul Stock Exchange and sell a majority interest to A1,” said AFM chairman of the board Adman Akdemir. AFM went public in 2004.

A1 signed agreed to buy the stake in AFM on 25 October 2007 and the transaction received regulatory approval on 30 November 2007.

A1 will also bid for public shares of AFM Cinema following the acquisition, according to A1 financial advisor Standard Unlu. Previous acquisitions by A1 include Kronverk Cinemas, the largest movie theatre chain in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The $100 million Blue Voyage Fund was established in February 2000. The fund previously invested in companies including sports-marketing joint venture Galatasaray Sportif.

AIG Capital is a member company of AIG Investments, the asset management arm of American International Group.