AMC CEO: Theatre chain could become ‘issuer of cryptocurrency’
16:08, 22 October 2021
In an interview, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron thanked the retail investors who have allowed the company to weather the existential threat of Covid-19 lockdowns and laid out longer-term ambitions for the theatre chain.
Speaking on CNBC’s Power Lunch, Aron first thanked the “millions of retail traders who have descended on AMC” to provide the liquidity needed to continue operating over the past 20 months.
“We have four million shareholders with small positions on average. This truly is evidence of the democratisation of Wall Street,” Aron said Tuesday at the Milken Institute Global Conference, an annual event where executives discuss social and economic issues.
Aron said this liquidity will be used to position the company for the future as streaming services gain ground in distributing films.
“We have no intention of just bringing back the company that existed in 2019,” Aron said. “Our investors have armed us with a $2bn (£1.45bn) cash and liquidity war chest to transform our company, and we have several big ideas.”
AMC wants to expand into “businesses unrelated to what we do,” Aron said, including increased involvement in cryptocurrencies.
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“There are a lot of reasons we could become an issuer of cryptocurrency, as well as a redeemer,” he said at the event.
Leawood, Kansas-based AMC announced plans to accept crypto for both theatre tickets and concessions before year-end during its second-quarter earnings conference call.
After initially indicating AMC would accept bitcoin for payments, Aron later broadened plans to accepting dogecoin after asking his Twitter followers if AMC should. AMC has also announced plans to accept litecoin.
Aron added that AMC would like to expand its distribution of live event broadcasts at its theatres. AMC currently broadcasts select National Football League (NFL) games but does not have full national broadcast rights.
“You can, at some theatres, watch some NFL games right now,” Aron said. “We are in discussions with the NFL to broaden our rights, so we can show all the games on Sundays.”
AMC would like to broadcast other live events, as well. Aron mentioned plans to show Ultimate Fighting Championship, World Wrestling Entertainment and boxing content and even live performances from The Metropolitan Opera in New York.
“We’ll have something for everyone,” Aron said.
Read more: “Ape army” pushes AMC stock to four-year high
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