China's Wanda behind US cinema merger

AMC cinema Image copyright AFP

AMC Entertainment, a US cinema chain owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, is acquiring rival Carmike, creating the largest US cinema chain.

The deal is valued at $1.1bn (£780m).

The Carmike acquisition comes on the heels of Wanda buying studio Legendary Entertainment, the company behind blockbusters like Jurassic World and The Dark Knight.

Dalian Wanda, the world's biggest movie theatre operator, took over AMC in 2012 for $2.6bn.

The rapidly growing company is led by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin.

Mr Wang has been looking to buy a Hollywood studio for several years and was reported to be in talks with DreamWorks Animation last year, but a deal was not announced.

AMC Entertainment currently has 387 locations and 5,426 screens while Carmike has 276 theatres with 2,954 screens.

What else does Dalian Wanda own ?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Born in 1954, Wang Jianlin served in the army between 1970 and 1986 and has been the chairman of Wanda since 1989
  • Founded in 1988, Wanda is probably best known as China's biggest commercial real estate firm
  • Domestically, the group already has some 125 Wanda Plazas, 100 department stores and 80 hotels - with scores more under construction
  • Wanda's expanding entertainment and tourism sector spans movie cinemas, theme parks and film production
  • The Wanda Xishuangbanna International Resort - which is more like an entire town - has a hospital, schools, luxury hotels, a shopping district and a theme park
  • Internationally, the Chinese giant has been on a buying spree - with a focus on investing in hotels and big foreign brands - including US cinema chain AMC and luxury British yachtmaker Sunseeker
  • Wanda was the first Chinese company to invest in a top European football club - Spain's Atletico Madrid

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