AMC Entertainment said Saudi Entertainment Ventures (SEVEN) will buy out its investment in movie theater joint venture Saudi Cinema Company for $30 million.
AMC said the agreement called for it to move from a management and investment role in the SCC to a “pure licensing relationship”. Current AMC Cinemas and future locations operated by SCC will retain the AMC Cinemas name and other intellectual property through a licensing agreement.
The deal dates back to 2017, when AMC signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to explore bringing theatrical exhibitions to the kingdom for the first time since the 1980s. AMC hosted the country’s first film screening in Riyadh’s King Abdullah Financial District in 2018. It formed SCC in partnership with Saudi Entertainment Ventures to develop and operate additional locations throughout the kingdom.
Over the next four years, AMC partnered with SEVEN to open 12 additional locations, with more in the pipeline, to guide the company through Covid and to hire and train corporate functions as well as theater management and staff.
“When the joint venture was formed, it had two objectives. First, to get the people of Saudi Arabia to watch movies. Second, and equally important, to train theater managers and corporate teams so that at some point in the future, businesses can be localized within the Kingdom. operation. More than five years after our first trip to Saudi Arabia, and nearly five years after we opened our first theater there, that moment in the future is now. This announcement and agreement is a natural next step in that process. step.”
“We have full confidence in the teams running these theaters, and the project is moving into the next phase as we envisioned when we started. We look forward to continuing to work with the great folks at SCC and SEVEN in the years to come to bring AMC to Saudi audiences experience,” he said.