AMC Entertainment’s onetime owner, China’s Dalian Wanda Group, has pretty much cashed out completely from the theater chain, revealing in an SEC filing Friday that it has pared its stake to a barely there 0.002%.
Wanda first acquired AMC’s super-voting Class B stock – with three votes a share – in 2012, making it the controlling stakeholder as long as its economic interest stayed above 30%. But during the chain’s pandemic-induced swoon Wanda converted its B shares to regular Class A, with one vote each. New shares AMC issued to raise funds diluted Wanda’s stake to well below that 30% threshold.
In March, Aron confirmed the Wanda era was over although the company continued to be AMC largest single largest shareholder then. Wanda “They have been absolutely delightful,” Aron said on a post-earnings conference call. “Now AMC will be governed like most other publicly traded companies with a wide array of shareholders.” AMC’s stake had been whittled down to 6.7%.
Now it holds only 10,000 shares. It sold the stock in the open market between May 13 and May 18 at around $14 a share. That’s not bad. The shares had a nasty week this week and ended Friday down 3.67% at $12.09.
The stock’s been volatile since the company’s wide array of stockholders referenced by Aron has, as of early this year, included a rowdy ground of GameStop-loving retail investors. Flocking to chatrooms like Reddit’s Wall Street Bets, they fueled a surge in AMC shares from under two bucks to over $20. That helped Investor Silver Lake cash out with a windfall and allowed AMC to extend its financial sails amid a slow industry recovery by selling new stock at the elevated price.