Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has purchased AMC Entertainment, one of America’s largest theater chains, for $2.6 billion. Wanda is one of the largest exhibitors in China, and this gives the company unprecedented leverage with U.S. movie distributors as a company with significant holdings in two huge markets. Wanda will invest up to $500 million in AMC to fund “strategic and operating initiatives”, including bringing in state-of-the-art digital projection and sound systems into theaters throughout the country. Wanda is part of China’s rapidly burgeoning cineplex business. It has 86 multiplex locations and 730 screens, including 47 large-format Imax screens. This is the first time that a Chinese company will own a U.S. theatrical chain. “As the film and exhibition business continues its global expansion, the time has never been more opportune to welcome the enthusiastic support of our new owners,” AMC CEO and president Gerry Lopez said in a statement. “Wanda and AMC are both dedicated to providing our customers with a premier entertainment experience and state-of-the-art amenities and share corporate cultures focused on strategic growth and innovation.”
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