by Ken Korman
Chinese conglomerate The Wanda Group has agreed to buy AMC Entertainment, the second-largest chain of movie theaters in America, for a reported $2.6 billion. AMC currently has 5,034 screens in 346 theaters in the U.S. and Canada. South Louisiana AMC theaters include the Clearview, Elmwood, Westbank, Hammond, and Houma multiplexes.
According to a story in today's edition of The New York Times, the acquisition will make Wanda—which currently owns 86 theaters—the largest theater group in the world. Unspecified American movie executives reportedly told the Times that Wanda "might eventually use newly acquired American theaters to help pry open an export market for Chinese-made films." Current owners of AMC Entertainment include investment fund J.P. Morgan Partners and Bain Capital.