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AMC to buy Odeon & UCI cinema chain for £921m

Published 12/07/2016

Odeon is Europe's largest cinema chain
Odeon is Europe's largest cinema chain

The Odeon & UCI cinema chain has been sold by Guy Hands' private equity vehicle Terra Firma to US firm AMC Entertainment for £921 million.

AMC chief executive Adam Aron was quick to flag the plunge in the value of sterling as being beneficial for the firm.

He said: "While we acknowledge that there are some uncertainties related to Brexit, we are encouraged that current currency rates are highly favourable to AMC, with the pound falling to a three-decade low versus the dollar.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire Europe's leading cinema chain and create the world's biggest and best theatre operator."

The deal will see AMC, ultimately controlled by China's richest man Wang Jianlin, fork out £500 million in cash and stock and also pick up Odeon's £407 million debt.

Odeon is Europe's largest cinema chain and raked in more than one billion US dollars (£760 million) of revenue last year. The combined entity will boast 7,600 screens in eight countries.

Mr Hands bought Odeon and UCI separately in 2004 for 650 million euros and 350 million euros respectively before merging them.

The deal is subject to antitrust clearance by the European Commission and consultation with the European Works Council.

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