by ALEXANDRIA QUIGLEY Staff Writer
A Chinese company is buying out AMC movie theaters, one of the largest movie theater chains in America, for $2.6 billion. By purchasing AMC Theaters, this will be China’s largest takeover of a U.S. company in history. Wang Jianlin, a rags-to-riches real estate tycoon, is taking over AMC Entertainment. He is promising to integrate it into a new global brand called the Wanda Group. In 1988, Jialin says he left a job as a local government official and borrowed $80,000 to start a business that he describes as a “sprinting elephant.”Jianlin is said to be one of the most successful Chinese real estate tycoons. He has a $17 billion empire that includes huge commercial property developments, five-star hotels, a film and television production company, Asia’s largest cinema network, and tourist resorts. The Wanda Group is extending its reach globally by paying $2.6 billion to acquire AMC Entertainment. A new era for Jianlin and China’s development is signified by the purchase. The deal is still subject to the approval of United States regulators, but there are no hints that it will be blocked. “We’re already negotiating,” said Jialin. The company has experienced 30 percent growth in the last year, even while there was a down market. It is promised by 2015 that the Wanda Group will have overall revenue of about $30 billion. “I never usually go to AMC theaters, but I think that it’s good for Mr. Wang and his company that they’re buying this theater chain. They are going to make a whole lot of money,” said freshman Shannon O’Scannell. However, to pull off this deal, Wanda Group needed more than $3 billion in cash, including $500 million it has promised to in AMC in North America. “I don’t know who has that kind of money to buy things, but I guess if you have the money it’s a good idea to buy things like movie theaters. You give them some money to buy it and then you get a bunch of money back in profits,” said freshman Caroline Earl. To make sure that the deal succeeds, Mr. Wang will keep AMC’s management in place with long-term pay incentives. He will invest heavily in renovating older American theaters in an effort to bolster revenue. Mr. Wang dismissed speculation in China that relates to Bo Xilai, the fallen Politburo leader who could harm the Wanda Group. Buying a Hollywod movie studio was not planned, but he would not rule it out. Hotels and American shopping malls are more likely targets Mr. Wang said. Beware, this could only be the start of a huge Chinese takeover in North America.