The No. 2 U.S. cinema owner is reportedly in talks for a deal that would make it a more formidable rival for Leawood, Kansas-based AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world’s largest chain.
Regal Entertainment Group, based in Knoxville, Tenn., is reportedly negotiating with London-based Cineworld Group to sell in an all-cash, $3.6 billion deal. Regal cautioned last week that no deal had been reached, and Cineworld officials declined to comment.
AMC, majority-owned by China-based Dalian Wanda Group, closed on three big acquisitions — domestically and internationally — that left it with about 1,000 theater locations. Regal’s 561 U.S. theaters would combine with Cineworld’s 226 in Britain, Ireland and other countries, the report says.
It appears that factors similar to what drove AMC’s sale to Dalian Wanda and its subsequent acquisitions could be at play in Regal-Cineworld talks. The report says the scale Regal and Cineworld could gain would help them better compete in an industry that’s seen steady and long-term declines in attendance as consumer habits change.
AMC has spent much of 2017 wrestling with these challenges, as well as working to reduce the debt accumulated when it acquired Carmike Cinemas, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group and Nordic Cinema Group, all for at least about $1 billion.
Read more: Kansas City Business Journal