Vue Entertainment to Open Two World Class all Digital Multiplexes at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City

30-Apr-2009

Countries: United Kingdom

Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) announced today that it has reached agreement with Vue Entertainment, one of the UKs leading operators of state of the art multiplexes to build and run two multiplex cinemas at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.

At Westfield London, Vue has agreed to open a 3,000 fully stadium seated, state-of-the-art cinema complex. All 14 auditoria with massive floor to ceiling, wall to wall screens will be fully digital giving the ultimate picture quality and the widest possible film choice with the added bonus of being able to show movies in 3D format now growing significantly in popularity.

The largest auditorium will seat nearly 500 and all screens will offer Vues super comfort Superior Seats with 3 screens having their own dedicated bar and restaurant area. The new cinema will be located above the existing Loft restaurants overlooking the Atrium at the heart of the shopping centre.

At Westfield Stratford City, Vue will open another cinema with 12 screens and 2,750 seats, above the planned restaurant and caf court area, also at the heart of the new scheme which is currently under construction at Stratford. Westfields 1.45bn Stratford City project is located adjacent to the site for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The scheme will include around 300 shops and is anchored by John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer who are building their largest stores outside the West End. Construction is well under way on the Westfield scheme and the 2012 Olympic project and the scheme is on target for opening in 2011.

Tim Richards, CEO of Vue Entertainment said, Our agreement with the Westfield Group brings together two market leading companies that will result in the opening of two truly world class cinemas at these two prestigious locations in the Capital. We fully expect Vue at Westfield London to be the most successful and one of the most important cinemas in the UK, if not Europe; we are already planning that both cinemas will be a focus for many special events and premieres.

The Westfield London cinema will open around the end of 2009 and the Westfield Stratford City cinema in 2011.

Michael Gutman, Managing Director, Westfield UK/Europe, said: We continue to work very hard to ensure our centres are more than just places to shop and it is the combination of indoor and outdoor dining, leisure, retailing and entertainment that ensures their longevity.

At Westfield London, the innovative and unique retail offer surrounding the Atrium, with dramatic 2 storey storefronts for retailers such as Apple, Nike, Hollister, Timberland, Zara, Topshop, H&M and so on, together with the unique dining experience at the Balcony, has been incredibly well received by our customers. We are very much looking forward to the opening of Vue around the end of the year and expect this exciting new addition to contribute further to the ambience of the Atrium through the day and evening as well as the centre as a whole.

With Westfield London already on course to exceed our forecast of 20 million visits in its first year of operation, the opening of Vue will further broaden the centres offer for retail and leisure customers alike.

Westfield London is jointly owned by Westfield Group and Commerz Real AG. Westfield Stratford City is an entirely Westfield-owned project.

ENDS

Westfield Group
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing approximately 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 119 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, encompassing in excess of 23,000 retail outlets. With a total value of assets under management in excess of A$69 billion, the Westfield Group is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation.

About Vue Entertainment
Vue Entertainment is one of the UKs leading multiplex developers and operators of state of the art multiplex cinemas. Formed in May 2003 with the acquisition of Warner Village Cinemas, Vue is one of the fastest growing cinema companies in the country. Having acquired the Ster Century cinema chain at the end of April 2005, Vue announced a management buyout in June 2006 in partnership with Bank of Scotland Corporate, through its Integrated Finance Team in a deal valued in the region of 350 million. The recent opening of the cinema in Eastleigh brings Vue Entertainments circuit to 66 sites with a total of 641 screens in the UK and Ireland which continues its impressive expansion following recent openings of multiplexes at The O2 Greenwich, Thanet, Hull, Stirling, Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran, and Camberley.

Vue has won many accolades for its service and innovations over the years including the prestigious award for International Exhibitor of the Year at Cinema Expo 2005 and for the third consecutive year, the UK Cinema of the Year RAAM award 2006, 2007 and 2008.

CEO Tim Richards was awarded the title of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and he also won the Leisure Report Individual of the Year award.

Commerz Real AG
Commerz Real AG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Commerzbank AG, Germany. With 44 billion in assets under management, it is one of the worlds largest real estate asset managers and providers of leasing and investment solutions. Commerz Real focuses on the provision of investment products, such as open-end and closed-end real estate funds, institutional real estate funds, REITs, closed-end funds for ships, aviation, and renewable energy. Furthermore, the spectrum of services includes the area of structured investments, which combines the activities of real estate leasing, big-ticket leasing, and structured financings, as well as equipment leasing.