China’s largest entertainment group agreed to buy AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. for $2.6 billion including debt, expanding into the U.S. to create the world’s biggest cinema owner.
The deal by Dalian Wanda Group, controlled by billionaire real-estate developer Wang Jianlin, marks the largest-ever buyout of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Wanda, based in Dalian, northeast China, is also looking to buy a European cinema operator, Wang said in an interview via a translator today.
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Wanda plans to spend the $500 million to reduce debt and improve AMC’s theaters, Gerardo Lopez, chief executive officer of the U.S. company, said in an interview. Those include upgrades to show Imax and 3-D movies, and adding more bars and dining options, he said.
UPDATE: Additional news items on the buyout:
Atlanta Journal Consitution: Chinese company to buy US movie theater chain AMC