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China's Wanda to buy US cinema owner AMC

21 may 2012, 16:01
AMC Entertainment theatre. Photo courtesy of chicagotribune.com
AMC Entertainment theatre. Photo courtesy of chicagotribune.com
Chinese property group Wanda said Monday it had agreed to buy US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion in a deal which will create the world's largest movie theatre owner, AFP reports.

Wanda, a private firm whose interests range from commercial property to the arts, will invest a further $500 million in AMC for future strategic and operating initiatives, the companies said in a joint statement.

Wanda's portfolio includes 86 movie theatres in China with a total of 730 screens, as well as interests in film production and distribution.

"This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner," the chairman and president of Wanda, Wang Jianlin, said in the statement. "We share with AMC a passion for the growth of the worldwide movie industry."

Privately-held AMC operates 346 multiplex theatres mostly located in major US and Canadian cities with a total of 5,034 screens. AMC's headquarters will remain in Kansas City in the US after the deal, the statement 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," said Gerry Lopez, chief executive officer and president of AMC.

"With Wanda as its partner, AMC will continue to seek out new ways to expand and invest in the movie-going experience," he said in the statement.

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