China’s Dalian Wanda Group has dumped almost all of its remaining holdings in AMC Entertainment for $426 million, bringing its stake down to just 0.002%, according to a Friday regulatory filing.
Since last Thursday, it has sold off 30.4 million of its AMC shares, leaving it now just 10,000 shares,
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The development marks the conglomerate’s latest move to shed overseas assets and retrench in China, a process begun in recent years after it came under scrutiny from Chinese authorities, and likely hastened by a difficult 2020 pandemic year.
Wanda first acquired AMC in 2012 for a whopping $2.6 billion. It began pulling out of the firm last December, diminishing its stake to 23.08% of the company’s Class A common stock and 47.37% of the super-voting Class B stock.
On Feb. 1, it converted all of its Class B stocks to Class A, losing some control over the firm in exchange for the option to cash out. By March 3, it had given up its majority stake and brought its ownership down to 9.8%. It has continued to shed hundreds of millions of dollars in shares since, pulling back to a 6.8% stake as of early April.
AMC was hit hard by cinema closures brought on by the pandemic, reporting a net loss of $4.6 billion in 2020. But its stock has rocketed up 477% so far this year, in part thanks to day traders taking cues from Reddit forums.
Back in March, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron said on a quarterly earnings call that Wanda still retained two AMC board seats despite its diminished stake.
“I can genuinely tell you that they have been an absolute delight for me to deal with Wanda over the past five years that I have led AMC. However, with no controlling shareholder, AMC will be governed just as is most publicly traded companies with a wide array of shareholders,” he said.
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