Chinese-owned US cinema giant AMC Entertainment has agreed a deal to buy ODEON and UCI cinemas in Europe for $1.2 billion.
ODEON and UCI is Europe’s largest cinema operator, with operations in 7 countries including Ireland and the UK. Here in Ireland the chain operates 11 cinemas with 68 screens, with locations across the country. The move by AMC will see them become the largest cinema chain in the world, with ODEON and UCI operating as a subsidiary to the US company.
The existing ODEON and UCI cinemas which number 242 with 2,236 screens will supplement AMC’s existing US operation giving them a total of 627 theatres and more than 7,600 screens.Chinese based media giant Dalian Wanda has been looking to acquire ODEAON and UCI for more that two years, having purchased AMC Entertainment in 2012 for $2.6 billion, and Australian cinema operator Hoyts in 2015 for $365 million.
Terra Firma purchased ODEON and the European operations of United Cinemas International (UCI) in 2004, which gave them 3 UCI branded cinemas in Dublin. Over the intervening years they added to their locations with UCI and Storm cinemas, before opening the first ODEON branded cinema in Point Village in 2012. This led to a nation-wide rebranding exercise later that year to turn all the existing locations to ODEON.