The Light Cinema

DEALS: The Light Cinema

The Light Cinema logo


  • Sector: Consumer, Retail and Leisure
  • Deal type: Acquisition, Capital Raising, Debt Advisory
  • Deal size: £10m
  • Year: 2015
  • Lead partner: Ian Milne


Ian Milne Simon Davies

Spectrum advises The Light on acquiring Cambridge Cineworld

Spectrum Corporate Finance has advised the management team of The Light on the successful acquisition of the Cambridge Cineworld, together with development capital to support its planned roll-out in the UK with a pipeline of six further sites signed-up.

Connection Capital, the leading private investor business, has completed, on behalf of its clients, a £5.2m growth capital investment to back the established cinema operator, The Light. Santander used their Growth Capital product to provide £4.5m of debt facilities alongside the equity funding.

The investment has been used to acquire a successful, nine screen multiplex cinema in the centre of Cambridge from UK market leader Cineworld and part of Land Securities’ Cambridge Leisure development. The investment will also fund the rollout of further sites across the UK - Bolton, Sheffield, Thetford, Dundee, Stockport and Walsall – all of which are secured under a signed agreement for lease.

The business was founded in 2007 by John Sullivan and Keith Pullinger, highly experienced cinema executives who have been responsible for establishing successful cinema circuits around the globe. It is their intention to create a national network of a new generation of cinema, defined by excellence in design, service and management. The Light currently operates cinemas in New Brighton on the Wirral, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and Halle in Germany. The existing cinemas benefit from central, easy to access locations. Both New Brighton and Wisbech are anchor tenants of broader shopping and leisure venues that provide high levels of footfall.

The Light is renowned for its wide range of film programming which includes not only the latest blockbusters but independent and international films together with live and recorded opera, sport and music events.

Following completion of the transaction, Simon Burke, formerly CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group and various high profile leisure and retail groups including Mitchells & Butlers and Hamleys, will assume the role of Non-Executive Chairman.

“We would like to thank Spectrum Corporate Finance for supporting us raise the necessary funds to deliver our roll-out programme and acquire The Light Cinema in Cambridge. This was a complex deal, requiring the coordination of the funding partner, banking facilities, the Competition and Markets Authority and a national cinema chain. Spectrum remained diligent and dedicated to the task at hand and helped us reach a successful outcome. We look forward to working with Spectrum again as the business develops from here.” Keith Pullinger, Founder, The Light