Major US Theater Chain to Acquire Europe’s Biggest Cinema Operator
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. a major US theater chain and a subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. announced its plans of acquiring London based Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group, one of Europe’s largest cinema operator. AMC said that the deal will create the largest movie theater chain in the world and Dalian Wanda will further improve their network of movie theaters chains in China, Europe and North America and this will be the first investment of Wanda into theater chains.
AMC entered a definitive agreement in purchasing Odeon and UCI from a private equity firm Terra Firma for 921 million pounds, plus AMC will shoulder the net debt of Odeon and UCI which is worth 407 million pounds. Considered as a once in a generation opportunity in acquiring the leading European cinema chain and create the biggest and best theater operator in the world. As AMC acknowledges that there might be uncertainties related to the Brexit, the company is encouraging that the current currency rates are still in favor to AMC was the pound falls to a three decade low against the dollar.
The transaction is conditional on the antitrust clearance by the European Commission and subjected to consultation with the European Works Council. Having 242 theaters and 2,236 screens, Odeon and UCI are the top theater operators in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain and Italy and is also one of the biggest operators in Austria, Germany and Portugal. Odeon and UCI has achieved a sales revenue fo $1.1 billion in the past year, a 20 percent of the market share of Europe. By combining AMC, Odeon and UCI will result in AMC’s controlling around 627 theaters with 7,000 screens in eight countries.
AMC is the best partner for the next stage in the long term growth in Europe and is one of the innovator of guest experience along with a strong future film slate and unparalleled expertise of the combined team, more opportunities are seen ahead along with strong prospects for growth.