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FORAY INTO CINEMA SECTOR

Seven acquires top US movie chain AMC's Saudi business

RIYADH, January 31, 2023

Saudi Entertainment Ventures (Seven), a wholly-owned unit of kingdom's wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund), said it is entering a new phase of growth as the group restructures its joint venture partnership with AMC Entertainment Holdings, the world’s largest movie exhibition company, with headquarters in the US.
 
Under the new deal, Seven will acquire AMC’s equity stake in the cinema business in KSA to gain 100 per cent ownership. Seven will also retain intellectual property (IP) rights and AMC Cinemas brand name in the Saudi market. 
 
The acquisition comes at a critical time as Seven prepares itself for the massive operations of developing 21 integrated entertainment destinations to fulfil the mandate of establishing the entertainment sector nationwide.
 
A leading national investor, developer, and operator of its diverse entertainment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, Seven said its integration into the cinema business will further help the company consolidate its position in the kingdom. 
 
It further unlocks opportunities to develop Saudi talent, localise expertise, and create a sustainable entertainment sector in accordance with the highest international standards, it added.
 
On the strategic partnership with AMC, Seven Chairman Abdullah Al Dawood said it was crucial in developing knowledge, technical expertise and equipping the group with the know-how to build up institutional capacities and support growth in Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry. 
 
"The acquisition of AMC’s stake in Saudi Arabia reflects Seven’s long-term strategy of bringing unparalleled experiences to the people and visitors of the Kingdom and contribute to the Saudi Vision 2030 goals," he stated.
 
Seven, he noted, will continue to partner with AMC through a franchise agreement, enabling it to keep the brand name of AMC Cinemas which, in 2018, became the first cinema operator in the kingdom. 
 
Under the Seven-AMC partnership, AMC Cinemas currently operates 85 screens across the kingdom, he added.
 
AMC Chairman and CEO Adam Aron said: "After more than 5 years since our first trip to Saudi Arabia and nearly five years since we opened the first theatre there, we believe this announcement and agreement is the natural next step in the process as we achieved our objectives of the joint venture."
 
According to him, Seven will further strengthen its offerings in the Saudi entertainment market, which is growing at an annual rate of 47.65 per cent and is expected to touch SR4.4 billion by the end of 2030.
 
As part of its plans to boost the country’s burgeoning entertainment sector, Seven had announced plans in November 2022 to invest SR50 billion to develop 21 integrated entertainment destinations with over 150 innovative attractions, in partnership with prominent international brands, across 14 cities in Saudi Arabia.-TradeArabia News Service 



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