Dec. 5 (UPI) -- British theater chain Cineworld on Tuesday announced plans to purchase Regal Entertainment Group for $3.6 billion, making it the world's second-largest movie theater chain.
The acquisition gives Cineworld more than 9,500 theater locations in 10 countries. Only AMC Entertainment owner Dalian Wanda -- based in China -- has more screens worldwide.
The two largest movie theater chains in the United States are now owned by foreign companies.
Chineworld's stockholders must first approve the merger, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
Under the agreement, Regal stockholders would receive $23 cash per Class A and Class B common stock.
"We believe this partnership with Cineworld will enhance Regal's ability to deliver a premium movie-going experience for customers and further build upon our strategy of introducing innovative concepts and premium amenities designed to enhance the value of our theater assets," said Amy Miles, CEO of Regal "The combination of our two great companies, Cineworld's tremendous success in the U.K., as well as other markets they have entered since, and Cineworld's commitment to maintain a strong presence in the U.S. and Knoxville, [Tenn.,] provide a global platform positioned for continued growth and innovation."