AMC Entertainment Holdings priced its initial public offering at $18 a share on Tuesday as the movie theater chain prepared for its premiere on the stock market.
That price – at the low end of the company’s estimated price range – values AMC at roughly $1.7 billion.
By contrast, its bigger rival, the Regal Entertainment Group, is valued at $3 billion.
With its public offering, AMC – whose enormous theaters have long been familiar to the moviegoing public – will finally join the stock markets for the first time in nine years after a number of aborted attempts.
Tracing its history to 1920, AMC helped pioneer the modern multiplex, opening a multiscreen theater in Kansas City, Mo., in 1963.
It has since grown into one of the giants of the industry, owning or operating 343 theaters as of Sept.
Like other theater operators, the company has sought ways to bolster revenue as more customers choose to watch movies at home.
AMC has focused on improving the quality of its cinemas, like lifting the quality of food and offering dine-in services at some of its theaters.
It is also adding more screens capable of showing giant-screen formats like IMAX, which can command higher ticket prices.
Last year, the company, then owned by a consortium of private investors, was sold to the Dalian Wanda Group, a Chinese conglomerate that is the biggest theater owner in that country, for $2.6 billion.
Even after the I.P.O., Wanda will retain an 80 percent stake in AMC.
In an unusual move, AMC reserved a small number of its shares for participants in its Stubs loyalty program.
Members were able to buy $100 to $2,500 worth of stock through Loyal3 Holdings, a start-up brokerage firm focused on small investors.
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Another group of shares was reserved for company employees.
AMC will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday under the ticker symbol AMC.
The offering was led by Citigroup, Bank of AmericaMerrill Lynch, Barclays and Credit Suisse.