Cinema software company Vista Group has bought US cinema management firm Retriever Solutions, showing confidence that the cinema industry will bounce back from the Covid-19 disruptions.
Under the agreement, Vista Cinema will acquire all of Retriever’s software, intellectual property and more than 100 customers, strengthening its market share in the United States.
Kimbal Riley, managing director of NZX-listed Vista Group, said Retriever had a talented team and a loyal customer base and the opportunity to buy the business was “irresistible”.
“People are looking forward to getting back to cinema after the challenges of the past two years, and we think the industry has a very bright future.
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“By joining forces with Retriever, we are even better placed to realize this potential as a global leader in software serving the film industry.”
Retriever’s software will continue to be supported, including its web services, signage, back office, multi-site management, movie rentals and point-of-sale solutions.
Ed Kearney, managing director of Retriever Solutions, said it would be business as usual for the company’s customers.
“I’m confident that Vista Cinema will provide a welcoming new home for our team and I look forward to seeing them innovate on behalf of Retriever’s wonderful customers.”
With this acquisition, Retriever customers will get a closer look at the benefits of Vista Cinema’s leading cloud products, Vista Cloud and Veezi. This will allow industry players around the world to have faster access to the continuous flow of innovation that Vista has invested in its new cloud delivery model.
Vista Cinema Managing Director Leon Newnham said customers’ appetite for cloud technology and the public’s continued love of cinema created the perfect environment for the company’s continued growth.
“There’s nothing quite like going to see a movie where it’s supposed to be seen – in the theatre, having the whole experience amplified by rows of people around you laughing and reacting at the same time – the people missed it.
“When technology also helps provide a seamless experience for customers, it keeps them coming back, and that’s when the industry really grows.”
Vista had its toughest year ever in 2020 as Covid-19 closed cinemas across the world, posting a loss of $56.7 million in calendar year 2020, compared to a profit of $12.8 million in 2019.
However, the company said blockbusters began to return to theaters in the final months of the first half of the year, with 80% of theaters open in key markets by the end of the half.