Cineworld is expanding into eastern Europe as it offers lucrative returns for the chain

UK cinema chain Cineworld is buying around 100 multiplexes in Eastern Europe and Israel for a cash and shares deal worth around £500m.

Cineworld is buying the outlets from Cinema City International (CCI) which is listed on the Warsaw stock exchange.

Cineworld chairman Anthony Bloom said: "This is an exciting and unique opportunity for Cineworld to offer shareholders enhanced growth prospects and attractive returns via exposure to some of the most promising cinema markets in Europe."

Cineworld will pay CCI £272m (€329.2m, $448.1m) in cash and has launched a £110m rights issue to aid the purchase.

Under the deal, CCI will retain a 24.9% stake in the business.

CCI has a presence in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Israel. It operates 99 multiplexes with 966 screens and 188, 548 seats.

Mooky Greidinger, chief executive officer of CCI said: "I see an impressive company in Cineworld and a good fit with Cinema City."

rope and the enlarged group, made up of both companies, will have 201 sites and 1,852 fully digital screens.

Cineworld's expansion into eastern Europe comes after Vue Entertainment, which is its main UK competitor, expanded into the region in 2013.

It agreed to buy Poland's second largest multiplex operator Multikino.