AMC Theatres Completes Odeon & UCI Acquisition, Becoming Largest Global Exhibition Circuit

AMC Theatres officially became the world’s largest exhibition circuit with the completion of its acquisition of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Holdings from private equity firm Terra Vista.

The $1.2 billion transaction made headlines in the weeks following the shocking result of Britain’s EU Referendum, with the British Pound falling in value after British voters called for an exit from the European Union. Odeon & UCI is Europe’s largest exhibition circuit with 244 locations, 2,243 screens, and 90 million tickets sold annually. The acquisition now puts AMC at 636 locations worldwide with 7,623 screens across eight countries. Odeon reported revenues of $1.142 billion in 2015 and $779.3 million through the end of September 2016.

“Today, with the official closing of AMC Entertainment Holdings’ purchase of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Holdings Limited, AMC today becomes the largest theatre exhibitor in the world,” said AMC CEO and President, Adam Aron, in a statement. “We now have an international footprint, and will introduce throughout Europe our proven guest amenities like plush powered recliners, enhanced food and beverages, and Dolby at AMC™ and IMAX at AMC™ premium experiences. We are excited about our prospects of transforming the experience in ODEON theatres for our new European guests, as they become part of our family of nearly 300 million movie goers across eight countries and two continents. Looking ahead, our goal is to not only be the largest theatre exhibitor in the world, but also the best.”

AMC will continue operating in its Leawood, Kansas headquarters with its current leadership structure. Odeon will act as a wholly-owned subsidiary headquartered in London under then name ODEON Cinemas Group. Paul Donovan, who served as CEO of Odeon & UCI since February 2014, will be departing the company.

“We congratulate Paul Donovan on his successful leadership of ODEON,” said Aron. “He is a talented executive who has made a difference to the business. We fully understand that his ambitions lie in developing his career as a Chief Executive of a standalone enterprise, and are pleased that Paul will act as an advisor to AMC during the period of transition.”

“It has been a real privilege to lead the transformation of the business over the last three years, and to play a role in achieving the sale of the company for Terra Firma to AMC,” said Paul Donovan through an official press release. “The company’s new owner has clarity of purpose, an ambition and an energy which means that our millions of guests across Europe can expect even better cinema-going experiences in the future.”

AMC announced a pair of other key executive transitions for ODEON. Mark Way, who served as Chief Financial Officer since September 2014 has been appointed President, AMC Europe and Managing Director of ODEON Cinemas Group. Ian Shepherd, who served as Group Chief Commercial Officer since June 2014, will become Executive Vice President, AMC Europe and Chief Operating Officer of ODEON Cinemas Group.

“Mark Way has been a key member of the ODEON executive team since 2014, as it transformed the strategy and fortunes of the company,” said Aron. “Mark’s extensive experience as CFO, as well as the 17 years he previously spent within Hilton Worldwide, gives him a unique opportunity to assess and steer many of ODEON’s strategic developments and to ensure that those with the best levels of return on investment are prioritized. Mark will work closely with Ian Shepherd as Chief Operating Officer and the entire ODEON team. We have every confidence that they will brilliantly lead the implementation of AMC’s proven growth strategies in Europe.”

ODEON will act as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AMC Theatres, with all existing European locations continuing to operate under the respective ODEON (UK & Ireland), UCI (Italy, Portugal, Germany, Austria) and Cinesa (Spain) brands.

AMC’s screen count is set to see another significant expansion with the imminent closing of its acquisition of Carmike Cinemas, expected to come by the end of 2016 or early 2017 pending on regulatory approval.