Businessman Margus Linnamäe has bought the parent company of the Coca-Cola Plaza cinema in Tallinn, daily Postimees reports.
MM Grupp purchased Kinoplaza OÜ today, Friday, following attempts to purchase the Forum Cinemas chain in previous years which had been blocked by the Competition Authority (Konkurentsiamet), Postimees says (link in Estonian).
At the time, Cinerock OÜ, owned by Forum Cinemas' management, bought out the Estonian aspect of the chain and continued to operate it, Postimees says.
The MM Grupp says, however, that purchasing the Coca-Cola Plaza does not require Competition Authority permission, on the grounds that turnover for 2021 was below the €2-milion threshold that would have barred that purchase, while Kristjan Kongo, head of Cinerock, said recent discussions with potential investors foundered – partly over uncertainty arising from the changed security situation in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, he says.
The Coca-Cola Plaza was closed in late November 2021, with low attendance numbers arising from Covid restrictions being cited as the reason. The Competition Authority then investigated whether the move was in fact a ruse to keep the 2021 turnover below the €2-million threshold.
Margus Linnemäe's business concerns also include the Postimees Group, which publishes the daily of the same name, its online and regional variants, plus newswire BNS, as well as operating Raadio Kuku and TV channel Kanal 2, among other media. He also owns one of the major pharmaceuticals chains and wholesalers in Estonia, Apotheka. Another of his companies is the franchisee of KFC in Estonia.
Editor: Andrew Whyte