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Under a deal that would create the worlds largest cinema conglomerate, China's Dalian Wanda Group Co., Ltd. will acquire AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
The transaction is valued at $2.6 billion. Wanda, based in Beijing, intends to invest up to $500 million in AMC strategic and operating initiatives over time.
"This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner," Wanda Chairman and President Wang Jianlin said in a statement. "We share with AMC a passion for the growth of the worldwide movie industry."
AMC, headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., employs about 18,500 people and owns 346 theaters. It is not believed the transaction will affect employment levels at the company.
"With Wanda as its partner, AMC will continue to seek out new ways to expand and invest in the movie-going experience," AMC CEO and President Gerry Lopez said in a statement.
The transaction is pending closing conditions and regulatory approval from the U.S. and China. The move comes after a line of investments Wanda has made in the entertainment sector since 2005. The group says it has more than $1.6 billion invested in entertainment and cultural activities.
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