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AMC acquires Nordic Cinema

By Amy He in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-25 07:53

The global footprint of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, the US movie-theater chain owned by Dalian Wanda Group, is getting bigger.

AMC announced on Monday that it will acquire Nordic Cinema Group, further bolstering Wanda's presence in Europe's movie industry.

The $929 million deal will give Wanda ownership of the largest theater exhibitor in northern Europe. Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema operates 68 theaters and nearly 50 percent of 50 other associated venues, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The all-cash deal needs to receive antitrust clearance from the European Commission.

"For the third time in the past 12 months, we believe we have discovered a substantial acquisition that gives AMC yet another opportunity to further expand and diversify our geographic reach and more firmly establish AMC as the undisputed leader in movie exhibition worldwide," Adam Aron, AMC's CEO, said in a statement.

AMC acquired US-based Carmike Cinemas in December, making it the biggest movie operator in the US, surpassing Regal Entertainment Group.

Wanda is the largest theater operator in China and has been on a buying spree across the globe. It became the largest movie theater operator in Europe when it purchased British cinema chain Odeon & UCI Cinema Group through AMC in November for $1.2 billion. London-based Odeon is the biggest movie chain in Europe and operates 242 theaters and 2,234 screens across Europe.

In Australia, Wanda purchased cinema chain Hoyts Groups in 2015 for $365 million. Hoyts operates approximately 450 screens across Australia.

Prior to that, the Chinese company purchased AMC in 2012 for $2.6 billion, which was one of the biggest Chinese acquisitions of an US company at the time.

Stanley Rosen, a politics professor at the University of Southern California, said the deal is "part of a consolidation and economies of scale strategy. That makes more sense than keeping everything separate. AMC is a Wanda company after all and is already strong in Europe, so it's the same as buying them outright".

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