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China's Wanda to pay $2.6bn for AMC
By Patrick Frater
Mon, 21 May 2012, 14:00 PM (HKT)
Confirming weeks of rumours, it was today announced that Chinese property and cinema group Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd 大連萬達集團股份有限公司 will pay $2.6 billion to acquire AMC Entertainment Inc, the second largest cinema circuit in North America.
The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, will create the world's largest cinema group. AMC currently operates 346 theatres with 5,034 screens primarily in the US and Canada (these include of 5,034 screens, including 2,336 3-D screens and 128 IMAX screens). Wanda has 86 theatres and a total of 730 screens in China as well as large-scale stage show, film production and distribution, entertainment chains.
Both companies are privately held, with AMC currently owned by private equity groups Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, the Carlyle Group, CCMP Capital Advisors and Spectrum Equity Investors. Upon closing of the transaction, AMC will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Wanda.
"This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theatres and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world's two largest movie markets. Wanda has a deep commitment to investing in the entertainment business and is already the largest in this sector in China, with more than $1.6 billion invested in cultural and entertainment activities since 2005," WANG Jianlin 王健林, chairman and president of Wanda.
"The time has never been more opportune to welcome the enthusiastic support of our new owners. Wanda and AMC are both dedicated to providing our customers with a premier entertainment experience and state-of-the-art amenities and share corporate cultures focused on strategic growth and innovation," said Gerry Lopez, CEO and president of AMC,
Wanda says it intends to invest up to an additional $500 million to fund AMC's strategic and operating initiatives.it also said that the deal is not expected to have any significant impact on AMC's 18,500 staff. Its operational HQ will remain in Kansas.