This week the Wanda Group, a Chinese conglom that owns the AMC theater circuit, sold a $1.2b stake in the exhib to the Alibaba Group (the Amazon of China). No real details for the sale were given but AMC reported a $210 million loss through the 3rd quarter of 2017. Its share price has dropped from a high of $31.85 at the start of 2017 to $14.20 as of yesterday. Alibaba may have thought that at a $14 price the investment was worth it.
In addition to decreased admissions, AMC has been in a battle with MoviePass, a subscription based cinema admission service that offers one movie ticket a day to customers which use its Red Card service for $9.95 per month. AMC blasted MoviePass, and has been moving forward with legal action. MoviePass's goal is to have exhibs share their admission and concession sales with them because they are bringing more people into theaters - AMC views this profit sharing scheme as a non-starter.
AMC had received at least six offers of purchase over the last three months but Wanda settled upon Alibaba's offer.
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