AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc, the world’s largest movie exhibitor, announced it has completed its acquisition of Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group Holding AB, the largest theatre operator in the Nordic and Baltic countries. AMC completed the purchase in all-cash transaction of SEK 5,756 million (USD $651.9 million), which includes payment of interest on the equity value and repayment of shareholder loans. In addition, AMC repaid indebtedness of Nordic of approximately SEK 1,274 million (USD $144.3 million) and indebtedness of approximately EUR €156 million (USD $168.2 million) as of March 28, 2017. All amounts have been converted into US Dollar amounts assuming an SEK/USD exchange rate of .11326 and a EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.0783, which were the exchange rates on March 23, 2017.
With Nordic added to its portfolio of theatre assets in Europe and the U.S., AMC has hit the never-before-reached movie exhibitor milestones of 1,000 theatres and 11,000 screens across the globe. AMC now operates theatres in 15 countries, is the market leader in nine of those, and is the largest operator in each of the U.S., and Europe and worldwide.
Nordic will operate as a subsidiary of London-based Odeon Cinemas Group, which AMC acquired in November of 2016. Jan Bernhardsson, formerly President and CEO of Nordic Cinema Group, has been promoted to become Chief Operating Officer of Odeon Cinemas Group and Executive Vice President, AMC Europe. Jan will be in charge of all the AMC controlled theatres across 14 countries in Europe, and will report to Mark Way, Managing Director of Odeon Cinemas and President, AMC Europe.
Nordic collectively has 68 theatres with 463 screens and approximately 68,000 seats in nearly 50 large and medium-sized cities in the Nordic and Baltic nations, and a substantial minority investment (approximately 50%) in another 50 associated theatres with 201 screens, to which it provides a variety of shared services. Nordic theatres are number one in market share in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and currently number two in market share in Norway. With a new theatre scheduled to open next year in Norway, Nordic is expected to increase market share to number one here as well. Additional associated theatres also operate in Denmark.
All Nordic activities are conducted locally in seven markets under several brands, including SF Bio in Sweden, SF Kino in Norway, Finnkino in Finland, and Forum Cinemas in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Nordic had approximately SEK 2,938 million ($349 million USD) 1 of revenue in 2015, including box office revenues of SEK 1,928 million ($229 million USD)1. Total revenues for the 12-month period ended September 30, 2016, were SEK 3,159 million ($375 million USD) 2 and operating margins for that 12-month period exceeded those of AMC.
AMC purchased Nordic from European private equity firm Bridgepoint and Swedish media group Bonnier Holding. The transaction received antitrust clearance by the European Commission on March 21, 2017.
With the transaction complete, Odeon Cinemas Group has 361 theatres and 2,926 screens in its European portfolio, including theatres it directly operates and associate theatres. In addition to its Nordic subsidiaries, Odeon also operates 243 theatres with 2,262 screens in its four primary markets: Odeon theatres in the U.K./Ireland, UCI theatres in Italy and Portugal, UCI Kinowelt in Germany/Austria, and Cinesa in Spain. Odeon Cinemas Group is the largest operator in the U.K./Ireland, Italy and Spain, the number two market share in Austria and Portugal and the number four market share in Germany.