Wanda Group acquires AMC Entertainment

Deal is valued at $2.6 billion

Having passed U.S. regulatory approval, Chinese conglom Dalian Wanda Group has officially acquired AMC Entertainment, the second-largest U.S. theater chain behind Regal Entertainment Group.

The deal, which was first announced late May, is valued at $2.6 billion that makes the largest-ever purchase of a U.S. firm by a Chinese corporation.

Wanda chairman and prexy Wang Jianlin, along with AMC chief Gerry Lopez, made the announcement Tuesday in Los Angeles.

Wanda plans to operate AMC as a wholly owned subsidiary under its existing brand. The buyout included an infusion of $500 million to be spent over time for strategic and operating initiatives. Of that, $50 million was paid to last week to settle debt.

Jianlin said Wanda also will spend $30 billion worldwide over a 10-year span, including $10 billion earmarked for the U.S.

“We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of AMC and begin this new chapter in Wanda’s international development,” Jianlin said. “We now look forward to working with Gerry Lopez and his team to invest in and build on the company’s widely-recognized brand and the incomparable entertainment experience AMC offers to its millions of customers.”

Lopez added: “All of us at AMC are thrilled about our future with Wanda. It allows us to continue expanding and innovating in what is the world’s largest movie market.”

In total, Wanda now has 432 theaters, which includes 338 from AMC, with 5,670 screens. Regal, meanwhile, operates 529 theaters in the U.S. only, totaling 6,566 screens.

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