In Biggest-Ever Buy of US Company, China Grabs AMC
Dalian Wanda Group Co. to pay $2.6B for chain
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2012 8:36 AM CDT
Gerry Lopez, CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings, left, shakes hands with Zhang Lin, Vice President of Wanda during a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, Monday, May 21, 2012.    (Ng Han Guan)

(Newser) – A Chinese conglomerate announced today it will buy major US cinema chain AMC for $2.6 billion in China's biggest takeover of an American company to date. Dalian Wanda Group Co. says its purchase will create the world's biggest movie theater operator. The Beijing-based company said it will invest an additional $500 million to fund AMC's development. "We support AMC becoming bigger, not only in the United States but in the global market," said Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin at a signing ceremony for the acquisition.

Wanda said AMC's American management will remain in place, the headquarters will stay in the Kansas City area, and staff numbers are not expected to be affected. Wang said Wanda has applied to China's government for a license to import movies, a right held now by two state-owned companies. But he said the AMC acquisition concerned only film exhibition, not production or distribution. "We have no plans to promote Chinese films in the United States," Wang said. "[AMC CEO Gerry] Lopez will decide what movies will be shown" in AMC theaters. Wanda's investment will allow AMC to speed up renovation of some cinemas and install more 3-D and IMAX technology, Lopez said.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
slammer
May 22, 2012 8:35 AM CDT
wow! will all of our movies have chinese subtitles now?
dawnarun
May 22, 2012 12:52 AM CDT
Well, I guess I won't be going to many movies anymore. We send enough profits to China as it is. =/
ddhartma
May 21, 2012 4:52 PM CDT
Isn't the movie theater industry a dying breed? Didn't we just see and article on them resorting to "midnight showing" just to survive? This may be the largest bust of a Chinese purchase yet. With HDTV and 3D TV coupled with surround sound systems/home theater systems, and movies available at a low cost and virtually instantaneously either online or via Redbox, why does anyone go to the theaters? Oh yeah, the $20+ worth of junk food.