KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City-based theater chain AMC is in talks to sell the company to a Chinese conglomerate, according to a report in the New York Times.
According to the report, the negotiations with the Wanda Group have been ongoing for over a year. The Wanda Group is a conglomerate whose interests include commercial properties, luxury hotels and department stores, is involved with film production and distribution in China.
The Wanda Group operates a rapidly growing theater chain that now has 86 multiplex locations, and a total of 730 screens, including 47 large-format IMAX screens, the Times reports.
AMC, founded as a single theater in Kansas City in 1920, has been owned since 2004 by an investment group that includes the Apollo Investment Fund, J. P. Morgan Partners, Bain Capital Investors, the Carlyle Group and others. Apollo and its founder, Leon D. Black, also had a major stake in the chain before it was sold eight years ago for about $1.7 billion to a group in which Apollo and J. P. Morgan are the largest holders, with about 39 percent each.
AMC reports that it earned around $2.5 billion in revenues in 2011. The company operates 347 theaters with 5,048 screens in 32 states and four countries outside of the U.S.