Exhibition chains have done pretty well on Wall Street this year, so this planned stock offering may interest investors who want additional opportunities to bet on the industry. But the sale of 18.4M shares at between $18 and $20 a share won’t dramatically change AMC Entertainment — aside from putting it back under analysts’ microscopes. The No. 2 theater chain disclosed its IPO plan in August; today’s filing adds several details. It wants to trade on the New York stock Exchange under the symbol “AMC.” It expects to net $322.6M after paying underwriting expenses, and will use cash from the stock sale to retire some debt and for undefined “general corporate purposes.” It especially wants to ditch some 8.75% Senior Fixed Rate Notes that mature in 2019. AMC currently carries a lot of debt — about $2.2B — and warns that “if interest rates increase, we may be unable to meet our debt service obligations.” China’s Wanda Group, which paid more than $2.6B for AMC last year, will retain control. It’s selling Class A stock that entitles owners to one vote per share, and will keep the Class B stock with three votes per share. When the IPO is complete, Class A owners will control 7.8% of the votes while Class B holders have 92.2%.
AMC plans to pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of about 20 cents a share. It also expects to spend $245M a year over the next three years on capital expenditures, including installation of recliner seats, fancier concessions, and upgrades for its projection and sound systems. The recliner seats typically reduce capacity by 66%, the filing says. “For an industry historically focused on quantity, this reduction in seating capacity could be viewed as counter-intuitive and harmful to revenues. However, the quality improvement in the customer experience is driving, on average, a 91% increase in attendance” at upgraded theaters. AMC generated $84.8M in net income in the first nine months of 2013 on revenues of $2.04B.