China’s Wanda Group Gets AMC Entertainment in US$3.1 Billion Deal
One of China’s biggest theater owners—the Wanda Group—has settled for a $2.6 billion deal for AMC Entertainment. The merger creates the world’s largest cinema consortium.
Wanda Group president, Wang Jianlin said Monday he hopes to turn Wanda into a major global player in the movie industry.
[Wang Jianlin, Wanda Group President]:
"Wanda Group maps out a ten-year strategic plan, which is to … become the world's top-level transnational enterprise...Today's signing ceremony symbolizes that Wanda Group has made a concrete step forward towards the goal."
Wang aims to acquire 20 percent of the global movie market share by 2020. He has plans on mergers and acquisitions with other US and European cinema owners.
AMC Entertainment shareholders’ representative, Eliot Merrill said it’s a win-win deal.
[Eliot Merrill, AMC Entertainment Shareholders Representative]:
"I am confident, with Wanda's expertise and leadership AMC will continue to innovate in the movie exhibition industry. The collaboration between Wanda and AMC which combine[d] will be the largest movie exhibitor in the world, should lead to innovated advances and collaboration in both China and United States."
The merger gives Wanda an opening into the North American movie market and provide a signficant boost in Chinese influence on Hollywood.
On-and-off negotiations between the two companies started over a year ago. Wanda will invest an extra $500 million dollars in AMC. It also agrees to retain AMC's management team after the merger.
Currently, Wanda manages 86 theatres with 730 screens, live stage shows, and a film production, distribution, and entertainment chain.
AMC operates over 5,000 screens in 346 theaters in the United States and Canada.