The company competes with other interested parties to acquire the Wagner / Cuban Cos activities.
Amazon.com Inc. is in the race to buy Landmark Theaters, a move that the e-commerce giant would place in the traditional cinema industry, according to people familiar with the case.
The company competes with other stakeholders for Wagner / Cuban Cos. To acquire business, backed by billionaire Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, according to the people who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. The owners of the chain together with investment banker Stephens Inc. worked on a possible sale, people said. No final decisions have been taken and the discussions can still fail.
Entering cinemas would follow the growth of Amazon in a number of other media areas, including a film and television studio and music services. With Landmark, Amazon obtains a chain that specializes in independent and foreign films with more than 50 theaters in 27 markets, including high-profile locations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Landmark theaters are known for art films, and some high-end locations include cafés or lounges, different from the typical movie experience.
"This is probably a measure to obtain a broader distribution of film content," said Leo Kulp, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets LLC. "Netflix has been named for a similar reason as a possible Landmark buyer."
Amazon, based in Seattle, declined to comment. Landmark representatives did not respond. The share of Amazon rose 0.8 percent to US $ 1,897.65 at 9:46 am in New York.
Although the purchase price of Landmark would probably be low, this would mark a new and important Amazon trip to the world of physical stores. The online retailer surprised the supermarket sector last year by buying Whole Foods for $ 13.7 billion, which put the organic food chain in the middle of its campaign to sell more groceries.
The e-commerce company spends billions on films and TV programs every year, arguing that it helps buyers to join their Prime subscription and increases the chances of existing members extending their subscription.
Amazon, founded as a company that sells books, has in the past disrupted that industry by offering authors an alternative to large publishers, thereby eliminating an intermediary between readers and artists. He opened his first physical library in Seattle in 2015 and now has nearly 20 people across the country.
The United States prohibits film studios from participating in the cinema industry. But the government announced earlier this month that it was considering ending a 70-year agreement with Hollywood that prevented vertical integration of studios & theaters. The so-called Paramount decree would have prevented smaller films from having a wider distribution.
"It is quite possible that the Paramount Decree will be revoked," said David Miller, an analyst at Imperial Capital LLC. "It will be interesting to see if Amazon will try the new rules first."
Cuban and Wagner also own Magnolia Pictures, the production company 2929 Productions and the networks AXS TV and HDNet Movies. Cuban, a 60-year-old man who is also on the reality show & # 39; Shark Tank & # 39; appears, the Hollywood Reporter in April told that he hired a bank to evaluate offers, but said at that time that he & # 39; had no rush to sell.
The operators of cinemas were under pressure in recent years because the popularity of Netflix and other streaming services for the house feared that the public was less willing to go to the cinema.
"I would say that this is a sign of good health for the industry," Miller said.