COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - In a deal announced on Thursday, the country's two largest movie theater chains will be merged in a billion-dollar deal.
According to the Associated Press, AMC Entertainment, the movie theater chain bought by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group in 2012, is acquiring rival chain Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion including debt.
Joele Frank, a spokesperson for Carmike Cinemas' PR firm - Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, said that the merger should be finalized by the end of 2016. More plans will be announced over the next few weeks, and right now, they don't know what this will mean for any of the Carmike Cinemas theaters, including the Lufkin Mall 9 and the Carmike 6 in Nacogdoches.
In total, AMC and Carmike would have more 600 theater locations in 45 states across the country, including Washington, DC.
"Our combination with AMC is a transformative milestone for Carmike and one that provides significant value to Carmike shareholders," stated David Passman, Carmike President and Chief Executive Officer.
AMC has 5,426 screens in the U.S. and the most productive theaters in the country's top markets. Carmike, America's hometown theater circuit, has 2,954 screens, in "primarily located in mid-size, non-urban communities."
"By joining with AMC, we are bringing together two highly complementary theater footprints and a shared commitment to service and innovation, positioning the combined company to deliver an even more compelling movie-going experience in many more locations across the country," Passman said.
"I am proud of the Carmike employees whose dedication and hard work have made this combination and its many benefits possible. We look forward to working together with the AMC team to complete the transaction and to ensure a seamless transition."
Carmike Cinemas is headquartered in Columbus.