AMC Agrees To Buy London-based Odeon & UCI In Deal Valued At 921 Million Pounds

By Ciara LinnaneMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to acquire Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group from private-equity firm Terra Firma, in a deal valued at 921 million pounds. London-based Odeon & UCI is the biggest theater exhibitor in Europe. AMC, which is already in the process of acquiring Carmike Cinemas , said it will pay 75% in cash, and the remaining 25% in stock. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31. Odeon and UCI already has 242 theaters and 2,236 screens, selling 90 million tickets annually. It is the biggest theater chain in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the second-biggest in Austria and Portugal. It's the fourth-biggest chain in Germany. The company had about $12 billion in revenue for the 12 months through March 31. Once the deal closes, AMC will control 627 theaters and more than 7,600 screens in eight countries. "While we acknowledge that there are some uncertainties related to Brexit, we are encouraged that current currency rates are highly favorable to AMC with the pound falling to a three decade low versus the dollar," AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. AMC shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are up 15.7% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.6%.

Copyright © 2016 MarketWatch, Inc.

Continue Reading Below