China’s Wanda Group buys AMC for $2.6bn

The Chinese private conglomerate has completed the largest buyout of a US company to date, underscoring China's cross-border M&A trend.

Dalian Wanda Group, a private Chinese conglomerate and Asia’s top cinema line, has completed its acquisition of US-based AMC Entertainment to create the world's largest cinema operator.

It acquired AMC from private equity firms Apollo Global Management, Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group, CCMP Capital Advisors and Spectrum Equity.

The deal is valued at $2.6 billion, with Dalian intending to commit an additional $500 million in investment and debt settlement – making it the largest buyout of a US firm by a Chinese corporation to date, according to the statement.

The deal was first announced in May, but the conglomerate had to wait more than three months to get the necessary approvals from both countries.

“We are enthusiastic about combining AMC’s leadership in the US with Wanda’s leadership in China, the world’s fastest-growing market,” AMC chief executive Gerry Lopez said in a statement.

Following the deal, AMC Entertainment withdrew registration for a $450 million IPO that it has held since 2010.

This acquisition follows a growing trend of Chinese companies expanding overseas. Shandong Heavy Industrial Group is scheduled to acquire a 25 percent share in the Germany-based Kion Group by the end of the year.

In July, China's Superior Aviation bought Goldman Sachs and Canadian private equity firm Onex’s stakes in troubled aircraft maker Hawker Beechcraft (a $1.79 billion deal); and in May, China state-owned foods group Bright Food bought a partial stake of Lion Capital’s portfolio company Weetabix for $1.9 billion.