China's Dalian Wanda Group buys U.S. cinema chain AMC
Beijing, May 21 (Xinhua-ANI): A private Chinese firm on Monday announced that it will purchase U.S. movie theater chain AMC Entertainment for 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, creating the world's largest movie theater franchise.
The Dalian Wanda Group will purchase AMC's entire stake and inherit its debt under an agreement signed Monday after two years of negotiation, the company said in a statement.
The Dalian Wanda Group is a leading commercial real estate developer that also owns Wanda Cinema Line, Asia's largest movie theater chain.
The northeast China-based firm will invest no more than 500 million U.S. dollars to fund operations after finishing the acquisition, bringing the total payment to 3.1 billion U.S. dollars, according to the statement.
After buying AMC's 346 multiplex theaters and 5,028 screens in North America, the group will become the world's largest movie theater operator, the statement said.
"It (the deal) marks a substantive step in the group's internationalization strategy," it said.
The deal needs approval from the Chinese and U.S. governments before being formally closed.
As the world's top IMAX and 3D screen operator, AMC posted 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenues in 2011, according to the statement.
The Dalian Wanda Group earned revenues of 105.1 billion yuan (16.7 billion U.S. dollars) last year. The group has invested more than 10 billion yuan in China's cultural industry since 2005.
The Chinese film industry's box office receipts totaled 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. The industry is expected by some to overtake that of Japan, which earned 2.3 billion U.S. dollars last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. (Xinhua-ANI)
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