Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group took another step toward becoming a global movie theater operator by buying its largest European counterpart, the company announced Tuesday.
Wanda-owned AMC Entertainment Holdings, the second largest movie theater chain in North America, will buy the London-based Odeon & UCI Cinema Group with 242 theaters and 2,236 screens in Europe in a deal valued at about 920 million pounds (1.2 billion U.S.dollars).
The deal would have cost Wanda much more before Britain voted to leave the European Union, sending the pound crashing to a 31-year low.
Wanda said that the transaction will make it the biggest movie theater operator in the world with a leading presence in the world's three largest movie markets. The Chinese company is aiming for about 20 percent of global box office by 2020.
"While we acknowledge that there are some uncertainties related to Brexit, we are encouraged that current currency rates are highly favorable to AMC with the pound falling to a three-decade low versus the dollar," AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron said in a statement.
The company's management are upbeat about the outlook of Odeon & UCI and are confident of a remarkable rise in revenue and profits, the statement added.