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Chinese firm closes acquisition of U.S. movie theater chains

(Xinhua)

09:02, September 06, 2012

Chairman and President Wang Jianlin (R) of China's Dalian Wanda Group Co. and AMC chief executive officer and president Gerry Lopez attend a press conference at an AMC theater in west Los Angeles, the United States, on Sept. 4, 2012. China's leading private conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. on Tuesday completed a high-profile acquisition of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., valued at roughly 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, in Los Angeles. (Xinhua/Zhao Hanrong)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's leading private conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. on Tuesday completed a high- profile acquisition of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., valued at roughly 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday.

With the completion of the deal between Wanda and AMC, the second largest cinema owner in the United States, Wanda will be added with 338 multiplex theaters and 4,865 screen, including 2, 171 3-D screens and 124 IMAX screens to its assets, becoming the world's largest cinema owner.

The Beijing-based Wanda, which originated from Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, controls 94 theaters and 805 screens in China. It also operates hotels, department stores, tourism and other businesses.

"We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of AMC and begin this new chapter in Wanda's international development," Wanda Chairman and President Wang Jianlin said at a press conference held at an AMC theater in west Los Angeles. "Throughout this entire process we have been impressed with the expertise and dedication of AMC's management team and associates."

After the acquisition, Wanda will operate AMC as a wholly-owned subsidiary and invest up to an additional 500 million U.S. dollars to support its strategic and operating initiatives.

Under the agreement, AMC, based in Kansas City, Missouri, will continue to control film programming as well as to keep its headquarters in the present location. Its 17,000-strong associates will continue to operate theaters in 32 states across the United States.

"We are enthusiastic about combining AMC's leadership in the U. S. with Wanda's leadership in China, the world's fastest-growing market," AMC chief executive officer and president of AMC Gerry Lopez said. "We strongly believe in our shared common interests in advancing the movie industry and we feel this partnership creates one of the world's premier location-based entertainment companies. "

Wanda announced its willingness to acquire AMC including its debts in May. The deal is Wanda's single largest investment outside China and is also the Chinese conglomerate's first acquisition in North American movie market.
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