AMC Entertainment Will Acquire Carmike Cinemas Despite Shareholder's Objection

By Staff Writer

Mar 09, 2016 08:13 AM EST

AMC Entertainment will acquire Carmike Cinemas and becoming the largest theater chain in North America. One shareholder, Mittleman Brothers LLC. objected the acquisition, citing the offer was too low. Board disregard the objection.

On Friday, AMC Entertainment Holdings announced to acquire Carmike Cinemas in a $1.1 billion deal. The acquisition will make the company becoming the largest theater chain in the United States. AMC Entertainment is owned by Dalian Wanda Group, which obtain the company in 2012 for $2.6 billion.

Dalian Wanda, the Chinese property and investment firm has also set to acquire Legendary Entertainment movie studio this year at the estimated value of $3 billion to $4 billion.

Reuters reported that AMC will pay $30 per share in cash to buy all of Carmike's outstanding shares,. The price offer was a premium of about 19.5% based on Carmike's share on Thursday trading. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. has committed to provide debt financing, while AMC will also fund the deal through its existing liquidity.

Currently, AMC is the second-largest movie theater chain in North America in 387 locations and 5,426 screens. Acquisition of Carmike will give AMC additional 276 theater and 2,954 screens in 41 states. The new company will overtake Regal Entertainment Group as the largest theater chain in the U.S., which currently have 588 theaters in 44 states with 7,334 screens.

In an interview with CNBC, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron said, "In three of the past four years, Hollywood has had record box offices. We're actually expecting a reasonably robust box office in the U.S."

However, on Tuesday Mittleman Brothers LLC which controls 7.1% of Camike's shares sent a letter to the Carmike board of directors. The firm said to vote against the merger and encourage other shareholders to join the opposition.

Mittleman Brothers LLC, sent a letter to the Carmike board of directors Tuesday saying it would vote against the merger announced last week. Mittleman, which controls a 7.1% stake in Carmike, said it would encourage other shareholders to join the opposition.

The investment firm said the offer for $30 cash per share is unacceptably low, and giving two acceptable alternatives: either $40 cash per share or $35 worth of AMC stock for each Carmike share.

Following the objection, on Tuesday evening Wall Street Journal reported Carmike board of directors defended the AMC deal. Board issued a statement saying they have determined unanimously that offer from AMC is in the best interest of Carmike's shareholders. As there is no offer worth more than AMC's offer.

As AMC Entertainment will acquire Carmike Cinemas, it will become the largest theater chain in North America with 663 theater and 8,380 screens in 41 states. Surpassing Regal, the current largest theater-chain with 588 theaters and 7,334 screens.

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