AMC shares jump amid rumours of Amazon acquisition
James R | On 12, May 2020
AMC shares jumped in value this week, after The Mail on Sunday reported that Amazon could be interested in acquiring the cinema operator.
The theatre chain in the US is also the owner of the Odeon chain in the UK, making it a major force on the exhibitor circuit. Earlier this month, it made news headlines after it threatened to boycott movies released by Universal in the future, after the distributor remarked that, following the successful release of Trolls: World Tour online during the coronavirus lockdown, it would continue to release films online alongside their cinema debuts.
The boycott threat came shortly after the USA’s largest cinema owner was reportedly in talks over a possible bankruptcy filing, although the company later said it had raised $500 million in a debt sale to keep it running. Now, it’s enjoying a boost based on the reports from the Sunday paper that online retail giant Amazon had held talks with AMC about a takeover.
“It is not clear if the discussions are still active or if they will lead to a deal,” reported the paper.
Amazon has certainly explored the idea of owning cinemas before, as the company treads the line between releasing its original movies theatrically but also online as part of its Amazon Prime Video subscription service. In 2018, it was in the running to buy arthouse chain Landmark Theatres in the US, but the Cohen Media Group ultimately acquired them.
However, the reports from the Mail were not confirmed officially by either party, with Amazon declining to comment and AMC not responding to requests for comment.
Deadline, meanwhile, has since reported that unnamed sources told the trade publication that there are “no talks” between the two companies.
The hint, nonetheless, was enough to spike AMC’s shares. For now, file this one under unlikely rumour with a very large pinch of salt.
The rumour has been circulated as cinemas are looking at the possibility of reopening from July, with strict safety measures in place.