AMC Entertainment to buy Carmike Cinemas for about $1.1 bn

AMC Entertainment Holdings, owned by Chinese property and investment firm Dalian Wanda Group, today struck a deal to buy Carmike Cinemas Inc for about $1.1 billion, including debt, in order to create the largest theater chain in the US.

AMC has offered to pay $30 per share in cash, a premium of about 19.5 per cent to Carmike's Thursday's closing stock price.

Dalian Wanda had acquired AMC Entertainment in 2012 for $2.6 billion.

AMC said that the proposed acquisition will diversify AMC's footprint by adding theatres with limited geographic overlap.

The combined company would have well over 600 theatre locations in 45 states across the country, including the District of Columbia.

It will also reduce costs by combining back-of-the-house functions such as accounting, finance and technology.

The merged company will be headquartered in Leawood, Kansas and Adam Aron will serve as CEO and president, and Craig Ramsey will serve as executive vice president and CFO.

Commenting on the transaction, AMC CEO and president, Adam Aron said, ''Through this transaction we expect to unlock synergies, sufficient we believe to make this transaction accretive in 2017.''

Carmike Cinemas is a US leader in digital cinema, 3-D cinema deployments and alternative programming and is one of the nation's largest motion picture exhibitors.

It has 276 theatres with 2,954 screens in 41 states. The circuit includes 55 premium large format auditoriums featuring state-of-the-art technology, including 32 "BigDs," 21 IMAX auditoriums and two MuviXL screens.

AMC has 5,426 screens in 387 locations primarily in the US. It operates theatres in the country's top markets and holds top market share in New York, LA and Chicago.