AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC), the U.S. theater chain controlled by Asia’s second-richest man, agreed to buy Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from Terra Firma for 921 million pounds ($1.2 billion) in cash and stock.
The acquisition by AMC, majority owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group Co., widens Wanda’s lead as the world’s largest operator of movie screens. Odeon, the first billion-dollar sale of a U.K. asset emerging since the Brexit vote, also adds to AMC’s planned acquisition of Carmike Cinemas Inc.
“The acquisition is expected to further diversify AMC’s footprint by adding theaters with complementary global geographic and guest demographic profiles that strengthen the combined company’s growth potential,” AMC said in a statement Tuesday.
AMC said it “remains interested in, and committed to” closing the Carmike deal and that it has the financing commitments and flexibility to do both transactions.
Odeon & UCI operates 2,236 screens from the U.K. to Spain and Germany, and its sale would make Wanda the first company in the industry to manage more than 10,000 screens.