Wanda Cuts Stake in U.S. Cinema Operator AMC Entertainment
What’s new: Real estate and entertainment conglomerate Wanda Group has sold down its stake in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., a leading cinema operator in the U.S.
The company held 9.8% of AMC’s ordinary shares at the end of March, down from about 23% at the end of last year, according to AMC’s annual report filed with the U.S. securities regulator on March 12.
In a March 10 conference call to discuss the company’s latest quarterly results, AMC CEO Adam Aron said Wanda is still AMC’s largest shareholder, and Wanda still has two members on the company’s board.
Background: AMC was one of Wanda’s earliest overseas acquisitions when the Chinese company began to diversify from its real estate roots into entertainment. Wanda purchased the company in 2012 for about $2.5 billion, and listed AMC on the New York Stock Exchange a year later.
Wanda went on to buy numerous other entertainment assets, including movie studios and sports companies, taking on a large debt burden. It began selling many of those nearly four years ago under pressure from Beijing to reduce its heavy debt.
AMC was also in separate, unrelated headlines in the second half of January after its stock got caught up in a wave of speculative buying by small investors, rising as much as 10-fold in a matter of days. That buying wave was better known for boosting shares of video game retailer GameStop.
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