SF to buy cinemas from Astoria

The remaining cinemas belonging to Astoria Cinemas, Sweden's second largest cinema chain, have been taken over by a subsidiary of SF, the country's largest movie theatre operator.

The properties have been taken over by Svenska Bio, a company half-owned by SF. The move gives SF near-total dominance of the Swedish movie market.

Astoria Cinemas filed for bankruptcy in early July, and administrators have since then been seeking purchasers for the company’s sites.

A move two years ago by SF to buy Sandrews, as Astoria used to be known, was blocked by the Swedish Competition Authority (Konkurrensverket) on the basis that the combined company would be too dominant.

The company’s administrator Urban Hjelm told Svenska Dagbladet that he had not contacted the competition authority regarding the purchases.

“My job is to sell for the best price,” he said.