AMC sells foreign movie theaters for $77M amid COVID-19 crush

AMC Entertainment, the largest movie theater chain in the US, is selling off nine cinemas in the Baltic region as the coronavirus crushes sales.

The company on Monday announced that it has signed a deal to sell nine venues across Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, to Up Invest, owners of a Baltic cinema group, for $77 million. AMC acquired the nine theaters in 2017 for $929 million from Nordic Cinema Group.

AMC closed all 600 of its national locations on March 17,  and while it has slowly reopened some locations in the US and abroad, demand remains down as the virus rages on.

AMC president and Chief Executive Adam Aron touted the Baltic deal before turning to the current state of its business.

“We continue to be encouraged by attendance levels at theaters that have reopened in Europe, where essentially all theaters are open, and in the U.S., where almost 300 theaters are currently open for business,” he said. AMC has roughly 400 theaters internationally.

Last month, in order to thwart bankruptcy woes, AMC restructured about $2.6 billion of its debt and it received about $300 million in new cash. In the second quarter, AMC Entertainment lost $561.2 million, as revenues tumbled 98.8 percent to $18.9 million, from a year ago. The company said the half a billion loss marked its worse quarter in its 100-year history.

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