The $1.2 billion purchase will make AMC the world's largest operator of movie theaters. But as Fred Katayama reports, it comes as its other deal with Carmike Cinemas faces resistance.
Drama at AMC Entertainment. The movie theater chain is buying its British counterpart, Odeon & UCI Cinemas, to form the world's largest theater operator. It'll pay $1.2 billion and assume debt. It acknowledged Britain's vote to quit the European Union produces uncertainties, but the pound's drop made against the dollar the deal cheaper. And buying Europe's biggest theater operator will expand its reach to more than 7600 screens in eight countries. AMC says it plans to boost atttendance and revenue at the European theaters by introducing what works in the U.S., such as recliner seating and large format auditoriums. But this comes just as AMC's other proposed acquisition, Carmike Cinemas, has run into resistance. The smaller chain adjourned a shareholder vote on the deal last month. AMC CEO Adam Aron acknowledged Tuesday that that deal is at "considerable risk," arguing that the price expectations of some Carmike shareholders are - in its words - "simply beyond what AMC believes is prudent to pay." Carmike's shares fell in early trading while AMC's rose. AMC is majority owned by Chinese tycoon Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda.