AMC Theaters’ $1.1 billion deal to buy rival Carmike Cinemas has stirred a bout of melancholy at the seller’s home office.
Carmike CEO David Passman told a group of university students in Columbus, Ga., that he’s suffering “melancholy” over the deal, a report by the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer said.
The report said Passman hasn’t felt relief, euphoria or a sense of mission-accomplished since the merger agreement was announced early this month.
“It’s actually melancholy,” the newspaper quoted Passman to say. “A lot of what we – not just me – but what we have done at the company I have real mixed emotions about. Somebody else is now going to be responsible for doing that. I kind of liked being responsible for it.”
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AMC declined to comment on Passman’s remarks.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the Leawood-based parent company of the AMC chain, announced the deal March 3. It has said the two companies have little overlap even in their audiences, and that makes the deal particularly attractive.
Where they do match up, however, is in the back office, where accountants, information technology teams, the human resources crew and the legal group toil.
With 150 employees at the corporate office, Carmike employees might be offered jobs in Kansas City if Passman’s comments hold. He also acknowledged that not all will want to go and that the company’s headquarters likely will become a “mere remnant” of what it is today.
“With a change in corporate headquarters, there will be some change that will be very, very painful for some of our people, some of our very dedicated, successful, long-term people who for whatever reason don’t see Kansas City as a potential home,” Passman said.
Passman also lamented that losing a corporate headquarters would be a blow to the Columbus community.
The companies expect to complete the merger later this year.