AMC Theatres and Carmike Cinemas, Inc. announced today they have entered into a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which AMC will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Carmike for $30.00 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $1.1 billion, including the assumption of Carmike net indebtedness. The purchase price per screen is approximately $376,000, and the per share purchase price represents an approximate 19.47% premium to Carmike's March 3, 2016 closing stock price. The merger will create what the companies call "the largest chain of movie theaters in the U.S. and the world."

AMC is one of the nation's premier entertainment companies with 5,426 screens and the most productive theatres in the country's top markets. Carmike, America's hometown theater circuit, has 2,954 screens, primarily located in mid-size, non-urban communities. Together AMC and Carmike would have well over 600 theatre locations in 45 states across the country, including the District of Columbia. The transaction is expected to provide significant growth for AMC and will allow it to bring its innovative amenities and best-in-class customer experience to enhance the movie-going experience for more customers in more areas.

The transaction is expected to result in free cash flow per share accretion, exclusive of one-time transaction-related charges, in 2017 and beyond, and is expected to produce annual cost synergies of approximately $35 million. Other key benefits of the transaction include diversifying AMC's footprint by adding theatres with complementary geographic and guest demographic profiles that strengthen the combined company's admissions growth potential with limited geographic overlap, expanding AMC's proven and successful guest experience strategies to millions of new guests in complementary markets and reducing related General and Administrative expenses by combining back-of-the-house functions such as accounting, finance and technology.

The result is a more efficient and effective competitor through greater scale, scope and expertise. The combined company will be headquartered in Leawood, Kansas. Adam Aron will serve as Chief Executive Officer and President, and Craig Ramsey will serve as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Other benefits include the maintenance of AMC's balance sheet flexibility and attractive leverage profile; and AMC's receiving substantial additional value in NCM LLC, a subsidiary of National CineMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCMI). Commenting on the transaction, AMC Chief Executive Officer and President, Adam Aron had this to say in a statement.

"This is a compelling transaction that brings together two great companies with complementary strengths to create substantial value for our guests and shareholders. Through this transaction we expect to unlock synergies, sufficient we believe to make this transaction accretive in 2017. AMC also gets to extend the reach of our innovative, guest-experience strategies to further transform the movie-going experience for millions of new guests. We also look forward to welcoming so many talented Carmike employees to the AMC team. By broadening AMC's geographic and demographic base for delivering our groundbreaking guest experience innovations in comfort and convenience -- such as plush power-recliners, enhanced food and beverage, premium sight and sound, greater guest engagement and targeted programming -- AMC is poised to deliver the best possible movie experience to more movie-goers than ever before."

The transaction was approved by both Boards of Directors of AMC and Carmike, respectively. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and approval by Carmike's shareholders. The transaction, which has fully committed financing in place, will be funded through a combination of existing liquidity, including cash on hand, and incremental debt. The debt financing commitment is being provided by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. ("Citi"). Here's what David Passman, Carmike President and Chief Executive Officer, had to say in his statement.

"Our combination with AMC is a transformative milestone for Carmike and one that provides significant value to Carmike shareholders. By joining with AMC, we are bringing together two highly complementary theatre footprints and a shared commitment to service and innovation, positioning the combined company to deliver an even more compelling movie-going experience in many more locations across the country. I am proud of the Carmike employees whose dedication and hard work have made this combination and its many benefits possible. We look forward to working together with the AMC team to complete the transaction and to ensure a seamless transition."

AMC will discuss the transaction in greater detail on a conference call and webcast on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 7:30 a.m. CT/8:30 a.m. ET. To listen to the conference call via the internet, please visit the investor relations section of the AMC website at AMCTheatres.com for a link to the webcast. Investors and interested parties should go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register, and/or download and install any necessary audio software. To access the call from the U.S., dial (855) 327-6837. From international locations, the conference call can be accessed at (778) 327-3988. An archive of the webcast will be available at Investor.AMCTheateres.com for a limited time after the call.

AMC (NYSE: AMC) is the guest experience leader with 387 locations and 5,426 screens located primarily in the United States. AMC has propelled innovation in the theatrical exhibition industry and continues today by delivering more comfort and convenience, enhanced food & beverage, greater engagement and loyalty, premium sight & sound, and targeted programming. AMC operates the most productive theatres in the country's top markets, including No. 1 market share in the top three markets (NY, LA, Chicago) AMCTheatres.com.

Carmike Cinemas, Inc. is a U.S. leader in digital cinema, 3-D cinema deployments and alternative programming and is one of the nation's largest motion picture exhibitors. Carmike has 276 theatres with 2,954 screens in 41 states. The circuit includes 55 premium large format (PLF) auditoriums featuring state-of-the-art technology and luxurious seating, including 32 "BigDs," 21 IMAX auditoriums and two MuviXL screens. As "America's Hometown Theatre Chain" Carmike's primary focus is mid-sized communities. Visit Carmike.com for more information.