The Abraaj Group in a press release on Wednesday announced an investment in Cinepax Ltd, one of the leading cinema operators in the country, but did not disclose the size of its investment.

The investment, made through Abraaj's fund, is expected to grow Cinepax's business threefold over the next four years, according to the statement on the company's website.

"Cinepax plans to develop 80 new screens across multiple locations over the next four years and also grow other entertainment related ventures," the statement said.

Abraaj will enable Cinepax to establish international standard multiplex cinemas at new and upcoming locations and "actively assist with job creation and training of multiplex staff, as well as strengthening governance and operational efficiencies to achieve best-in-class operating standards."

Established in 2006, Cinepax launched its first multiplex in 2007. It currently operates 29 screens at 12 locations.

Omar Lodhi, partner for Asia at the Abraaj Group, said his company saw an opportunity in Pakistan's growing young population and the expanding middle class, who are "increasingly seeking improved entertainment options".

"We see a long-term market opportunity in the cinema operator and video streaming business," he explained.

Cinepax Board Chairman Arif Baigmohamed, hinting at the company's plans for the future, said it saw an opportunity to extend its core cinema business into "new related opportunities, including the digital video space".

"We are also committed to supporting local talent and the film making industry," he said, adding that the company looks forward to partnering with Abraaj to "reach more people across the country, providing much needed entertainment options"

The Abraaj has been operating in Pakistan since 2004. This transaction marks Abraaj’s 9th investment in Pakistan across a number of sectors including healthcare, power distribution, and renewable energy.

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