Major American movie theater chain AMC Theatres will acquire Europe’s largest theater exhibitor, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group, in a deal valued at $1.2 billion. The equity portion of the consideration is 75% cash and 25% stock. The deal value also includes the assumption of debt.
Odeon & UCI is owned by London-based private equity firm Terra Firma. The chain operates 242 cinemas and 2,226 screens primarily in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany, as well as in Austria, Portugal, and Ireland.
The merged company will have 627 theaters and more than 7,600 screens in eight countries, AMC said in a statement, pushing it ahead of competitor Regal Entertainment Group, which operates 588 cinemas and 7,334 screens in 44 states and U.S. territories.
The transaction is conditional upon antitrust clearance by the European Commission and is subject to consultation with the European Works Council.
AMC said it plans to employ such AMC amenities as recliner seating, enhanced food and beverage, and premium large format auditoriums to Odeon & UCI theaters.
AMC also said it is still pursuing the acquisition of theater exhibitor Carmike Cinemas, with 276 theaters and 2,954 screens, in a deal that would be valued at $1.1 billion. While AMC said it has the financing commitments to do both the Odeon & UCI and Carmike transactions, AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said separately that the “likelihood of an AMC/Carmike transaction continues to be at considerable risk” as Carmike shareholders seek a better deal than the $30 per share purchase price proposed by AMC.
AMC Entertainment Holdings, the parent company of AMC Theatres, is a majority-owned subsidiary of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.