AMC, the U.S. theater chain controlled by China’s Dalian Wanda group, is to pay $929 million for Nordic Cinema Group. The company is the largest cinema operator in seven countries across the Nordic and Baltic regions.
The deal follows AMC’s acquisition last year of Odeon-UCI, the largest cinema operator in West Europe. It said that the two European chains will be operated together.
AMC is buying Nordic in a private transaction from private equity firm Bridgepoint and Swedish media group Bonnier Holding. The transaction is to be an all cash affair worth $929 million (SEK8.25 billion) and the deal is subject to approval from the European Union.
Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin went on the record again last week to repeat his target of owning20% of the world’s movie screens. He believes that will give his company significant negotiating power in discussions with the the world’s leading film distributors, most notably the six Hollywood majors. Prior to the Nordic deal, Wanda controlled some 12% of global screens through AMC and its separately listed Wanda Cinema line, which has cinemas in China and also owns Australia’s number two operator Hoyts group.
Nordic has 68 theaters in 50 large and medium cities. Together they have 463 screens and 68,000 seats.
More to follow.