AMC Entertainment in talks with China's Wanda Group -report

Tue May 8, 2012 3:12am EDT

May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. theater operator AMC Entertainment, which recently shelved its plans to go public, is in talks to sell the company or a significant stake to Wanda Group, one of China's largest theater owners, the New York Times said citing people briefed on the discussions.

Any deal, whether for the entire company or for a major stake, would value AMC at about $1.5 billion, New York Times said.

The off-and-on discussions began more than a year ago, and became serious after AMC canceled its plans to go public in April, the paper said.

AMC, based in Kansas City, Missouri, scrapped its IPO plan as the operator's owners raised concerns that market conditions were not ideal for a stock offering.

AMC has been owned since 2004 by an investment group that includes the Apollo Investment Fund, J. P. Morgan Partners, Bain Capital Investors, the Carlyle Group and others, the paper said.

Wanda Group and AMC could not be reached immediately for comment.

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