U.S. owned AMC Theaters is being sold to Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. for $2.6 billion, marking the largest China takeover of an American company to date.
According to the Dalian Wanda Group the purchase will place them directly in charge of the world’s biggest movie theater operation.
Based in Beijing the group says it will immediately invest $500 million to help expand AMC’s development, creating a much bigger machine. According to Wanda chairman Wang Jinlin:
“We support AMC becoming bigger, not only in the United States but in the global market.”
The company plans to keep AMC’s America management in place and the company will allow AMC’s world headquarters to remain in Kansas City.
In the meantime the expanding company says they have applied to China’s government for the right to import movies, a right currently offered only to two state-owned companies. As of this moment the AMC acquisition only involves film exhibition and not production or distribution.
According to Wang:
“We have no plans to promote Chinese films in the United States.”
Which movies will be shown in AMC theaters in the United States will still fall squarely on the shoulders of AMC CEO Gerry Lopez.
In the meantime the company’s $500 million investment will help renovate some theaters while installed more 3-D projectors and developing more IMAX offerings for customers looking for a bigger experience at their local AMC locations.
The company plans to announce their plans in more detail after the acquisition is completed and the takeover is finished.