The odds that the screen you see that new flick on is owned by AMC Theaters are about to go up, now that the chain is gobbling up fellow theater chain Carmike Cinemas in a $1.1 billion deal.
The acquisition will make AMC Theaters the largest movie chain in North America, notes the Los Angeles Times: currently, AMC is the second largest U.S. movie theater operator, behind Regal Entertainment Group, while Carmike is the fourth biggest. Adding Carmike’s 274 locations will bring AMC’s total theaters to 653, topping Regal’s 572 U.S. cinemas.
The deal announced on Thursday will have AMC buying Carmike for $30 a share, as part of a $1.1 billion deal that also has AMC assuming Carmike’s debt.
“This is a compelling transaction that brings together two great companies with complementary strengths to create substantial value for our guests and shareholders,” Adam Aron, chief executive of AMC Entertainment, the parent company of AMC Theaters, said in a statement.
“Wherever you go, this deal is complementary,” Aron added. “We’re strong in large cities, they’re strong in smaller cities. We’re strong in the Northeast, and they’re strong in the Southeast.”
AMC Entertainment was bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, which also owns the biggest chain in China, in 2012 for $2.6 billion, creating the world’s largest cinema company.