The Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate with extensive interests in the entertainment business, has agreed to acquire AMC Entertainment, North America’s second-largest movie theater owner, in a deal that is valued at $2.6 billion, including roughly $2 billion in assumed debt, the companies said Sunday.
I fail to see how AMC got itself into the position that it needed to be bought out, what with the cost of tickets and popcorn and sugar water these days. This is good news though, and hopefully American moviegoers will see benefits:
In addition to the $2.6 billion value assigned to AMC’s debt and equity in the deal, Wanda is expected to invest $500 million for what the companies called “strategic and operating initiatives.”…it might be used to retire debt, acquire new theaters or fix up old ones.
Keep an eye on this, though:
In addition to its theaters, Wanda produces and distributes films in China. As word of Wanda’s negotiations with AMC became public in recent weeks, some American executives have privately said that Wanda might eventually use newly acquired American theaters to help pry open an export market for Chinese-made films.
I’d be happy to see more Chinese films, but there’s a reason theaters aren’t owned by movie studios.