AMC gets $917M in financing for its next act

As people rent out AMC theaters for $99, investors bet on big returns.

Feb 04, 2021 | Current events | Business
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The big screen stages a comeback

AMC stock jumped last week after the company announced it had raised $917 million in emergency financing. (Shares have since come back down to Earth.) So, how is the movie theater giant putting these funds to use? To start, they've been experimenting with letting people rent out entire theaters for private showings. Starting at $99, you can get an entire AMC Safe & Clean™ auditorium to yourself (or throw a watch party with up to 20 of your closest friends and family).

They’re bringing back everything you missed about going to the movies, from pre-show trailers to concession classics like popcorn and Raisinets at most theaters. Each auditorium is cleaned 15 minutes before movie-goers arrive, and AMC requires masks for all.

The infusion of fresh capital means AMC bankruptcy talks are off the table, for now. And the chain’s comeback exemplifies the larger trend of investors creating safety nets for companies hit hard by social-distancing restrictions and betting on big returns in the post-pandemic world. The catalyst here? Covid-19 vaccines. Many industries, like airlines and live entertainment, depend on high vaccination rates to recover, making the messy vaccine rollout all the more frustrating. The CEO of AMC, Adam Aron, said investor financing would keep the company running deep into 2021. By the looks of it, companies and investors may be doing this dance for a while.