What to think of the deal by Chinese company Wanda to buy local movie giant AMC?
Well for starters, that nothing is sacred in the world of high finance and international business. As promised – but not reported locally until recently by KCC – Wanda president Wang Jianlin had boasted in a speech last year that "his company would ‘shock the world’ with an acquisition to be made within the year."
Well, it certainly did come as a shock to Kansas City that one of its prized corporate possessions would no longer be under local (or domestic) ownership and control. After all, AMC employs about 18,500 staffers and owns 346 theaters.
And while undoubtedly the Chinese will want things to remain intact where AMC’s domestic and international business is concerned, it does make one wonder how much longer those two and three connection international flights to the Cowtown will make sense to Wanda execs. Especially given that Kansas City is hardly an entertainment hub.
So we’ll see.
Meanwhile, inquiring minds locally want to know what venerable movie guy Jack Poessiger thinks of the deal. Is he in shock or anything?
"No, not really," Poessiger says."There’s nothing really new that we didn’t speculate on a week ago. The NYC money guys finally got their payday and there’s apparently some money left to put into the company as well.
Stan Durwood‘s probably up there—or at least I THINK he’s up there—high-fiving St. Mayer, St. Warner, St. Zanuck–and St. Peter."
Or perhaps he’s wondering why AMC wasn’t the one embarking on the theater buying shopping spree in China instead of the company he founded’s money lenders cashing in on their big movie bet.
Oh, and one more thing…
"There’s absolutely no truth to the apparent rumors that AMC management will have to be carrying Chairman Mao‘s little red book with them at all times," Poessiger cracks.