Chinese Billionaire Exits AMC, Reversing Global Expansion

Dalian Wanda Group Co. has almost completely exited its investment in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., marking the latest retreat from overseas markets for the once-rapacious conglomerate founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin.

Wanda, which bought the theater chain in 2012 for $2.6 billion, cut its stake to just 0.002%, according to a filing Friday. That compares with 6.8% in an April 9 disclosure and more than a third of the shares in October.

Wanda has been trimming its position as the chain struggled with the pandemic, but also as the group contracts its investments outside of China. The company -- spanning malls, films, sports and theme parks -- was among Chinese conglomerates that accumulated some of the world’s largest debts after snapping up overseas trophy assets, often at premium prices, and now faces significant debt maturities.

While AMC’s business has been battered by lockdowns, the stock has surged 470% this year to $12.08, fueled in part by day traders inspired by Reddit forums, enabling Wanda to recoup more of its investment.

Wang’s fortune though continues to take a pounding. Once Asia’s richest person, he’s now worth $9.2 billion, down $5.9 billion this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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