AMC Theatres, the biggest cinema chain in the world, is buying a 22% stake in Nevada-based gold and silver mining company Hycroft Mining Holding Corp.
AMC’s $27.9 million cash investment in Hycroft is the company’s latest attempt to shore up its finances after COVID-19 forced movie theaters to close. After evading bankruptcy and embracing its status as a meme stock last year, AMC announced plans to expand its business outside of box office by selling popcorn in shopping malls around the country.
“AMC is playing on offense again with a bold diversification move. We just purchased 22% of Hycroft Mining (NASDAQ: HYMC) of northern Nevada. It has 15 million ounces of gold resources! And 600 million ounces of silver resources! Our expertise to help them bolster their liquidity,” AMC’s CEO Adam Aron wrote on Twitter.
AMC is playing on offense again with a bold diversification move. We just purchased 22% of Hycroft Mining (NASDAQ: HYMC) of northern Nevada. It has 15 million ounces of gold resources! And 600 million ounces of silver resources! Our expertise to help them bolster their liquidity. pic.twitter.com/LihqZguwnd
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) March 15, 2022
The investment also includes the 71,000-acre Hycroft Mine in northern Nevada, which houses 15 million ounces of gold and 600 million ounces of silver. Upon the news, AMC shares rose 6.78% to $14.48 on Monday, while Hycroft shares ended the day up 9.35% to $1.52.
AMC said on Tuesday that Eric Sprott, a leading metals investor, will also invest $27.9 million in cash in Hycroft in exchange for more than 23.4 million units. The deal will make AMC and Sprott the company’s second-largest stockholders.
“Our investment to buy 22% of Hycroft Mining Holding Corp., and to receive an additional 23.4 million warrants in Hycroft at $1.07 per share is a truly terrific opportunity to potentially strengthen and enrich our company, and thereby create significant value for AMC Entertainment shareholders,” Aron said in a statement. “It is appealing that the investment requires the commitment of only a nominal amount of AMC cash.”
Though overall box office ticket sales have been sluggish, Aron has remained wildly optimistic about the future of the movie theater business.
“The strength of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and ‘The Batman,’ as well as 2022’s promising industry box office, heighten AMC Entertainment’s conviction that we are on a glide path to recovery,” Aron said. “Our strategic investment being announced today is the result of our having identified a company in an unrelated industry that appears to be just like AMC of a year ago. It, too, has rock-solid assets, but for a variety of reasons, it has been facing a severe and immediate liquidity issue. Its share price has been knocked low as a result. We are confident that our involvement can greatly help it to surmount its challenges — to its benefit, and to ours.”
Aron continued, “To state the obvious, one would not normally think that a movie theatre company’s core competency includes gold or silver mining. In recent years, however, AMC Entertainment has had enormous success and demonstrated expertise in guiding a company with otherwise valuable assets through a time of severe liquidity challenge, the raising of capital, and strengthening of balance sheets, as well as communicating with individual retail investors. It is all that experience and skill that we bring to the table to assist the talented mining professionals at Hycroft.”
At the request of legal advisers, Aron abandoned the opportunity to expand beyond the company’s press release.
“I want to apologize to @jimcramer and @davidfaber, two extraordinary journalists, for canceling my CNBC interview with them today at the last minute,” he tweeted later in the day. “I am excited about our investment in HYMC, but there has been so much volume in that stock today, lawyers insisted I stay off air.”
I want to apologize to @jimcramer and @davidfaber, two extraordinary journalists, for canceling my CNBC interview with them today at the last minute. I am excited about our investment in HYMC, but there has been so much volume in that stock today, lawyers insisted I stay off air.
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) March 15, 2022