Wanda's purchase of AMC wins approvals

Updated: 2012-07-26 10:20


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LOS ANGELES - China's Dalian Wanda Group Co has received regulatory approvals for its purchase of AMC Entertainment Inc, the second largest movie exhibitor in the United States, paving the way for sealing the deal at the end of August, local media reported Wednesday.

The Chinese private conglomerate and Kansas City-based AMC said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment had approved the transaction, adding that the Federal Trade Commission and regulatory agencies in China have also signed off on the purchase, Kansas City media said.

The two companies said they expect to complete the transaction at the end of August.

On May 20, AMC and Wanda jointly announced that they have signed an agreement under which Wanda will acquire AMC, creating the world's largest cinema owner. The transaction is valued at approximately 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, a statement on AMC's official website said.

Wang Jianlin, chairman and president of Wanda, said, "This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theaters and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world's two largest movie markets.

Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC, said, "As the film and exhibition business continues its global expansion, the time has never been more opportune to welcome the enthusiastic support of our new owners."

As part of the transaction, Wanda intends to invest up to an additional 500 million U.S. dollars in AMC over time to fund AMC's strategic and operating initiatives. Wanda has reached an agreement to secure the employment of AMC's management team. AMC currently has approximately 18,500 employees. The transaction is not expected to have an impact on employees at AMC. AMC's headquarters will remain in the Kansas City metropolitan area and day-to-day operations, including the process for film programming, will remain unchanged.

AMC operates 346 multiplex theaters mostly located in major metropolitan markets in North America, and a total of 5,034 screens, including 2,336 3D screens and 128 IMAX screens, making it the world's largest operator of IMAX screens. The company operates 23 of the 50 highest grossing theaters in the country, including the top three. IN 2011. approximately 200 million people watched movies in AMC theaters.

AMC is owned by several investment firms, including JPMorgan Partners, Apollo Investment Fund and Bain Capital Investors.