Exhibitor AMC Entertainment Plans to Raise $368 Million in IPO

Wang Jianlin, chairman of AMC owner Dalian Wanda

The movie theater giant, controlled by China's Dalian Wanda Group, plans to price its stock at $18-$20 per share.

U.S. movie theater giant AMC Entertainment Holdings, the movie theater chain controlled by China's Dalian Wanda Group, led by the country's richest man Wang Jianlin, plans to raise up to $368 million in an initial public offering that would value the company at up to $1.9 billion.

The Leawood, Kansas-based company will sell 18.4 million Class A shares at $18-$20 each, according to a statement late on Tuesday. It said it plans to use the funds to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes.

AMC is the second-largest theater group in the U.S. by revenue. It had revenue of $2.04 billion in the first nine months of 2013 and nearly 4,950 screens. The IPO would take the company public for the first time in nine years after previous attempts had been shelved.

Wang's Dalian Wanda, which acquired AMC last year for $2.6 billion, including debt, will retain an 80 percent stake.

Dalian Wanda controls one of China's largest property portfolios, including commercial properties, luxury hotels and cinemas. Chairman Wang said in recent months that the group is planning further moves into the entertainment industry, and in September it unveiled an $8.2 billion studio plan. It also won friends in Hollywood by donating $20 million to the Academy Museum.

AMC filed with regulators in August to raise up to $400 million in its IPO. Citigroup and BofA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters for the IPO.

In a filing late last month, AMC said the theater industry was in transition and there was a greater emphasis right now on sound, picture quality and comfort than on physical expansion.

"It is the ease of use and the amenities that these innovations bring to customers that will drive sustained profitability in the years ahead," AMC said.