AMC CEO Adam Aron files to sell 1.25 million shares, after warning meme investors he would do so

AMC CEO Adam Aron files to sell 1.25 million shares, after warning meme investors he would do so

Adam Aron, Chairman of the Board and CEO, AMC Entertainment, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference on October 18, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission that would permit him to sell 1.25 million shares of the movie theater company.

The sale would be part of the executives’ estate planning ahead of his 67th birthday next year, Aron told investors last August. He reiterated those plans during an earnings call with investors and analysts Monday.

The stake is worth about $48 million at AMC’s close Wednesday. The stock dropped 4% on the session.

“On our last call, I also pointed out to you that in September of 2021, I would turn 67 years of age, a youthful, vibrant, vigorous full of life 67 I might add, but 67 nonetheless,” he told investors on the call. “Prudent estate planning suggests I should diversify my assets a bit, especially with Congress having been discussing imposing potentially soaring capital gains tax rates and significant changes to what can be passed on to one’s heirs.”

Aron once again told investors that during his almost six years with AMC he had never sold any of his shares, save for the 500,000 shares he gifted to his adult children. He also said that any potential stock sale would take place over the course of three different calendar months.

At the end of these sales, Aron said he would still hold more than two million shares of the company.

Representatives for AMC were not immediately available to comment. The filing appeared on a section of the SEC website which displays filings submitted in paper form via email. Insider sales analyst Ben Silverman of confirmed its authenticity.

The form gave Aron the right to sell the entire 1,250,000 share stake already, or over a period of coming days, weeks and months, Silverman noted. It won’t be clear at what pace Aron is selling the shares until, separate forms on those individual sales are filed with the SEC.

“If you do the math, you will see that with this much current and future ownership of AMC, I have an enormous personal stake in the future of our company, of your company, of AMC Entertainment,” he said. “I fervently believe in AMC and my interests are very much aligned with our broad shareholder base to care very much about the value of your ongoing investment and my ongoing investment in AMC Entertainment stock.”

Shares of AMC have soared more then 1,700% this year, buoyed by this year’s meme stock craze.

The movie theater chain was hit hard by the pandemic and nearly filed for bankruptcy in late 2020. However, a surge in its shares allowed the company to gain nearly $2 billion in liquidity and steady itself as the box office began to rebound.

During the third quarter, the company saw admission revenue rise to $425.1 million from $62.9 million in the year-ago period. Its food and beverage sales also surged to $265.2 million from just $29.1 million on a year-over-year basis.

Still, AMC’s operating costs outpaced its revenue, leading the company to post a loss for the quarter. The company said if the domestic box office reaches at least $2 billion during the months of October, November and December, it would be able to post positive cash flow for the fourth quarter.

—With reporting by Yun Li.

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