EXPERIENCED leisure finance chief Alison Cornwell is the new CFO of Vue Entertainment International.
She joins the multiplex cinema business following a range of senior finance positions. Having begun her career at Coopers & Lybrand, she spent ten years at Walt Disney TV International as CFO. She then spent three years at Sparrowhawk Media, where the business expanded and was sold to NBC Universal. She then joined international film distribution company Alliance Films, which financed movies including Insidious and The Woman in Black. Cornwell led its sale process.
She joined the British Film Institute as governor and audit & risk committee chair in 2013, and has spent the last year helping start-up ventures and film financing projects.
Tim Richards, Vue’s founder and CEO, and Alan McNair, deputy CEO said they were delighted to bring such a “highly respected CFO” into the business.
Her appointment will help facilitate the board’s strategy of acquiring assets in the UK and continental Europe, alongside organic growth.
Cornwell said: “I’m thrilled to be joining one of the fastest growing and most dynamic entertainment companies in Europe who share an exciting long term vision for further growth and development. With years of experience in TV and film distribution I’m looking forward to bringing my expertise and knowledge into the exhibition and entertainment arena.”
Vue was formed in 2003, and has doubled it cinema screen facilities following a series of acquisitions across Europe in the past two years.
It has had a tough summer, impacted by the World Cup – with UK attendance down 9.2% in comparison to a year earlier, it said this week. But Vue also confirmed it will spend €118.5m (£94m) on the acquisition of Italian cinema chain The Space Entertainment – bank financing will cover €70m, while reinvestment from Vue’s financial shareholders OMERS Private Equity and AIMCo will take the form of non-cash pay loan notes.