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NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of movie theater operator AMC Entertainment are rising in their first day as a public company.
The stock gained $1.76, or 9.7 percent, to $19.76 in morning trading Wednesday.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. priced the initial public offering of about 18.4 million shares at $18 per share. That's at the low ended of its projected price range of $18 to $20 per share.
The company raised approximately $331.2 million from the offering. It is giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to 2.6 million more shares.
AMC Entertainment expects net proceeds of about $314.2 million. It plans to use the funds mostly to pay off debt and for general corporate purposes such as capital expenditures.
In August AMC Entertainment announced that it was planning to go public, nearly a year after it was bought by a Chinese company. AMC Entertainment was purchased by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. in September 2012 in a $2.6 billion deal. Dalian Wanda, founded in 1988 and privately owned, runs hotels, theaters, department stores and other businesses.
AMC Entertainment owned, operated or held interests in 343 theaters in North America as of Sept. 30. The company said it had about 200 million guests visit its theaters last year.
For the year ended Sept. 30, AMC Entertainment had revenue of $2.73 billion.
The shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the "AMC" ticker symbol.
The offering is targeted to close on Monday.
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