RIYADH: Saudi Entertainment Ventures has taken over US-headquartered AMC Entertainment Holdings’ 85 cinema screens in the Kingdom after buying 100 percent of the firm’s stake in the country.
As part of the deal, the Saudi-based company, known as SEVEN and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, will keep the brand name of AMC Cinemas - which in 2018 became the first cinema operator in the Kingdom.
The deal comes as SEVEN prepares to invest SR50 billion ($13.3 billion) on developing 21 integrated entertainment destinations across Saudi Arabia as part of a plan to improve the choice and quality of the sector and develop local talent and capabilities in the industry.
Abdullah Al Dawood, chairman of SEVEN, said: “Our partnership with AMC – the world’s largest cinema chain, was crucial in developing knowledge, technical expertise and equipping us with the know-how to build up institutional capacities and support growth in Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry.
“The acquisition of AMC’s stake in Saudi Arabia reflects SEVEN’s long-term strategy of bringing unparalleled experiences to the people and visitors of the Kingdom and contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030 goals.”
Adam Aron, Chairman and CEO of AMC, said: “After more than 5 years since our first trip to Saudi Arabia and nearly five years since we opened our first theater there, we believe this announcement and agreement is the natural next step in the process as we achieved our objectives of the joint venture.”
According to a press release announcing the acquisition, the Saudi entertainment market is growing at an annual rate of 47.65 percent and is expected to touch SR4.4 billion ($1.17 billion) by the end of 2030.