Wanda Sells Off AMC Theatres Stake for $426 Million

Wanda has had a controlling stake in the exhibition giant since 2012, but January's Reddit-fueled rally saw the company trade in its super-voting Class B stock for Class A common stock, giving up control but giving it the option to cash out.

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group has sold off essentially its entire stake in AMC Theatres, officially exiting the U.S. theatrical exhibition business.

Wanda has had a controlling stake in the exhibition giant since 2012, but January’s Reddit-fueled rally saw the company trade in its super-voting Class B stock for Class A common stock, giving up control but giving it the option to cash out.

And cash out it did. On Friday, AMC disclosed that Wanda sold all but 10,000 shares in the past week, netting $426.7 million. It previously sold three tranches last month for $220 million.

In March, AMC CEO Adam Aron said that Wanda has been “absolutely delightful” since swapping its stock. “Now AMC will be governed like most other publicly traded companies with a wide array of shareholders.”

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Indeed, in its latest quarterly earnings call, Aron embraced the Reddit investors.

“These individual investors likely own a majority of our shares, they own AMC. We work for them. I work for them,” Aron said on the call of the “more than 3 million” individual investors that own AMC shares. “By definition, their interests and passions are important to AMC, their ambitions and passions are important to me.”

And with that, he introduced plans to donate money to a gorilla charity that is popular among Reddit’s “WallStreetBets” community.

“Just go on Twitter, just go on Reddit, just go on YouTube, read what these people write. They love AMC,” Aron said on the call, adding, “You’re going to see a lot more outreach to literally millions of investors in our company. And it’s going to be quite public.”

In recent weeks, that has meant sharing photoshopped images, including one with Aron’s face superimposed on the poster for The Godfather, and with the movie’s title changed to The Apefather.