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Wanda's AMC seeks $400 million in new IPO

Sep 01,2013

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. resumed plans for a U.S. initial public offering, seeking $400 million.

The second-largest U.S. cinema chain, based in Leawood, Kansas, may use proceeds to fuel expansion and repay debt, according a regulatory filing on August 23. The offering size is a placeholder amount used to calculate fees and may change.

This would be at least the third IPO attempt by AMC Entertainment, which was bought by the Wanda Group last year and owned, operated or held interests in 343 theaters as of June 30.

Theater owners are making acquisitions to gain leverage over film studios when negotiating revenue splits, Brett Harriss, a Rye, New York-based analyst with Gamco Investors Inc. (GBL)’s Gabelli & Co., said in a phone interview. Publicly traded stock might make it easier for AMC to do deals, he said.

“We’re seeing a consolidation pick-up,” Harriss said. “Being a public company could help.”

AMC Entertainment didn’t specify the number of shares being offered or at what price. The company canceled its most recent IPO effort in September 2012 when Wanda Group, China’s largest entertainment company, agreed to buy the exhibitor for $2.6 billion including debt. The deal made Wanda, with its holdings in China, the world’s biggest cinema owner. A previous AMC Entertainment offering was scrapped in 2008 after losses widened on declining revenue.

AMC Entertainment’s revenue increased 2.6 percent to $1.34 billion in the six months through June 30 from the year-earlier period, while profit from continuing operations more than doubled to $41.1 million, filings show. The company had about $2.1 billion of long-term debt at June 30.

The company is renovating some of its theaters to improve the guest experience, replacing finishes, improving the sound quality and adding plush, reclining seats operated electronically. Those locations have shown an 84 percent increase in attendance, according to the filing.

AMC didn’t say in its filing which banks will underwrite the offering. The company has applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AMC.

For the Bloomberg report, please click: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-30/amc-entertainment-seeks-400-million-in-revived-initial-offering.html

For video, please click: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNjAzNTM0MzMy.html

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