AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC), operating as AMC Theatres, is buying Nordic Cinema Group for its portfolio of 68 movie theaters. AMC Theatres’ $929 million cash purchase of Nordic includes the target’s nearly 50 percent ownership in another 201 associated movie screens. The buyer anticipates realizing $5 million in annual cost synergies as part of the deal.
Nordic, based in Stockholm, Sweden, manages 463 screens and 68,000 seats among its theatres in the Nordic and Baltic nations. Previously owned by European private equity firm Bridgepoint and Swedish media business Bonnier Holding, Nordic generated revenues of approximately $349 million in 2015. The target will retain its headquarters location in Stockholm and operate as a subsidiary of London-based Odeon Cinemas Group, a company with which AMC acquired in November 2016, as part of the deal. Nordic operates locally in seven markets using several brands, including: SF Bio in Sweden, SF Kino in Norway, Finnkino in Finland, and Forum Cinemas in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
AMC Theatres is one of the largest motion picture exhibitors in the U.S. with additional operations in Europe and across the globe. As part of the deal for Nordic, AMC will reach the milestone of 1,000 movie theaters with 11,000 screens. Odeon, AMC’s European operation, will increase to 361 theaters and 2,926 screens with Nordic. The buyer expects to complete the transaction before Jun. 30, 2017.
The business of movie making is huge and made up of many types of companies, with M&A playing a significant role. Recent deals involving the entertainment and media business include: AMC Networks Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMCX) $65 million investment in RLJ Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: RLJE), a company backed Black Entertainment Television founder Robert L. Johnson; Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc.’s agreement to buy European pay-TV provider Sky Plc for nearly $14.6 billion; Kohlberg & Co. LLC recently investment in research analytics firm MarketCast LLC for the target’s data insights and advisory services into the entertainment industry; Moore Frères & Company’s completed purchase of Opera TV for its over-the-top (OTT) video streaming software; and Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) June 2016 agreement to buy a one-third stake in the video-streaming unit of MLB Advanced Media.