BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese conglomerate announced Monday it will buy a major U.S. cinema chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings, for $2.6 billion in China's biggest takeover of an American company to date.
Dalian Wanda Group Co.'s purchase reflects the global ambitions of a wave of cash-rich Chinese companies that are using acquisitions to speed their expansion by obtaining foreign skills and brand names.
Wanda said the deal will create the world's biggest movie theater operator. The Beijing-based company said it will invest an additional $500 million to fund AMC's development. AMC operates 346 cinemas, mostly in the United States and Canada, and says it has 23 of the 50 highest-grossing U.S. outlets.
"We support AMC becoming bigger, not only in the United States but in the global market," said Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin at a signing ceremony for the acquisition.
The deal reflects rising Chinese investment in U.S. corporate assets despite disputes between the two governments over trade and political issues such as this month's diplomatic standoff over a blind Chinese legal activist.
The deal is the third-largest Chinese corporate investment in the United States, according to financial research firm Dealogic. It ranks behind investments by Beijing's sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp., of $5 billion in Morgan Stanley and $3 billion in Blackstone Group LP, both for minority stakes in 2007.
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Can this mean more Chinese movies in theaters? lol