WME-IMG and WME signed $5.8 billion deal for AMC-IMT movie studios
WME, the umbrella of the three major movie studios that own AMC and Warner Bros., on Tuesday signed a $5 billion agreement to acquire IMT, the major player in the movie-theater business, for about $2.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter said.
The deal will give the three companies more than 10 years of exclusive movie rights for the next four decades.
The deals are expected to close by the end of 2018, and the companies expect to be able to sell the movie studios’ entire business portfolio in a single transaction.
The companies also will acquire a new movie studio, AMC/IMT, for a reported $1.5 trillion, which they hope to sell in 2019.
The acquisition of AMC/TMC by WME marks the first time the three studios have agreed to a joint venture that will include the production of movies in theaters, as opposed to movies on video screens.
WME acquired IMT for $1 billion in 2012.
It also bought the parent company of AMC, Imax, for $2 billion in 2011.
WBE is the umbrella for the three movie studios.
The studios’ joint venture will include about 1,200 movie theaters that they will lease to AMC/WME for a total of about 1.5 million seats, according to the person.
It will include more than 30 AMC and WBE movie theaters, including locations in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.
AMC/AMC/WBE will have a combined theater footprint of about 10,000.
The AMC/Imax joint venture has been in the works for a long time.
It was signed in 2005 and included a joint movie-premium-broadcast deal in 2009.
The joint venture, which includes AMC and Imax in the deal, also includes two other movie studios, MGM/MGM Entertainment and Lionsgate.
The studio companies are in discussions with several other studios to join the AMC/imax deal, the person said.
IMT is also a producer of movies and has been looking to expand its production capacity.
WCE/IMB Entertainment was the sole movie studio owner for 20 years before it merged with AMC/amc/WCE in 2014, but that merger also included AMC and IMT.
The merger with AMC is a joint effort, and AMC is in control of the film studio.
The WME/IMD transaction is expected to be completed in 2020, according the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
It could be completed by the time the deal closes, according a person who has been briefed on the matter.
The two companies are expected a few years later, after the merger closes.