AMC Entertainment CEO Thanks Apes For Saving Theater Chain As Shares Soar: 'If They Hadn't Been There, We Wouldn't Be Here'

Zinger Key Points
  • AMC CEO Adam Aron says the company is in a strong competitive position because of the apes.
  • "I feel very lucky to have had these retail investors care about our company because if they hadn't been there, we wouldn't be here today."

According to the man at the helm, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC is alive and well today thanks to a passionate group of retail investors

What Happened: AMC CEO Adam Aron has said the theater chain wouldn't have survived the pandemic if it weren't for its retail shareholder base, better known as the apes. 

"I feel very lucky to have had these retail investors care about our company because if they hadn't been there, we wouldn't be here today," Aron said Monday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

AMC was headed for bankruptcy in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the movie-theater industry. Shortly after, a large group of retail investors banded together in an effort to keep the company afloat — and it worked.

"We raised $2.2 billion of equity in 2021. Our competitors didn't ... we're in a strong competitive position and they're in trouble," Aron said. 

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AMC reported third-quarter results last week. The company ended the quarter with $895.8 million in liquidity, according to Benzinga Pro

What's Next: The AMC CEO anticipates that the company will need to continue to raise capital, but it has created preferred equity in order to do so in a "slow and steady" manner.

At the beginning of August, AMC declared a special dividend in the form of APE, or AMC Preferred Equity Units APE. One APE was distributed for each share of AMC class A common stock outstanding. 

"When we launched the APE security ... we said right back then that we were going to raise capital with it, but we were going to do so with a slow and steady pace, judiciously," Aron said. 

"We know what we're doing. We're doing it the right way. We'll continue to raise capital and that's the smart way to run our company."

Aron told CNBC that he doesn't expect the movie-theater industry to fully recover until 2024, but the company is in a good place thanks to the apes.

"We're quite optimistic that there is going to be considerable growth in 2023 over '22 and again in '24 over '23. We're pretty confident about our future," Aron said. 

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AMC Price Action: AMC has a 52-week high of $34.33 and a 52-week low of $5.05.

The stock was up 4.73% at $7.53 at the time of publication, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo: Dave Dugdale from flickr

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