AMC Theatres parent company AMC Entertainment Holdings announced Tuesday that it has closed its deal to acquire Scandinavian chain Nordic Cinema Group for $652 million in cash. AMC also paid down debts of $144 million and $168 million, for a total transaction value of approximately $964 million.
AMC, which is owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group, is the biggest movie theater chain in the world. With the addition of Nordic, AMC is now the first exhibitor to have more than 1,000 theaters and more than 11,000 total screens.
Nordic will operate as a subsidiary of Odeon Cinemas Group, the London-based chain AMC acquired in November for $1.2 billion. Nordic President and CEO Jan Bernhardsson will be promoted to chief operating officer of Odeon Cinemas Group and executive vice president, AMC Europe, in charge of all AMC-branded cinemas in 14 European countries.
“This acquisition contributes immediately to AMC’s continuing growth, furthers our geographic diversification and provides the potential for significant future growth opportunities in key European markets,” AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement announcing the deal. “A primary motivation for this acquisition was the fact that Nordic is an extremely well-run, modern and fast growing circuit. It is also an important consideration that the leadership of Odeon will be strengthened as talented leaders from the Nordic team, especially including President and CEO Jan Bernhardsson, will assume additional duties for AMC as we continue to build our industry-leading European movie exhibition business. Clearly, Europe will be a significant part of the AMC growth story, and AMC looks forward to bringing to Europe the innovative theatre experiences for which we are known in the U.S. to delight movie fans across Europe.”
“Uniting the Odeon and Nordic teams brings together some of the most experienced and respected cinema operators in Europe,” Mark Way, Managing Director Odeon Cinemas Group and President, AMC Europe said in the statement. “Our businesses are built on very similar values of developing excellent cinemas, creating amazing experiences for our guests, and offering fantastic careers for our people. We’ll create a successful integrated business that delivers further growth through market leading experiences for our guests”.
“I am excited to be joining Odeon and AMC,” Bernhardsson said in the statement. “The market leading positions of Odeon and Nordic are already impressive, and together we will be even stronger. The prospects ahead for AMC in Europe are ever so bright.”