Tenedora de Cines, owner of exhibition giant Cinepolis, has acquired 2.8 million shares, or 2.4%, of U.S exhibitor Cinemark, according to an SEC filing Wednesday.
Another 17 individuals who are executives and part of the company’s founding family have acquired various smaller positions that total 6.1%.
An SEC filing is required in cases where passive investors take 5% or more of a company’s equity.
The individuals include Alejandro Ramírez Magaña, the CEO of Cinepolis (which was founded by his grandfather) and his father Enrique Ramírez Villalón, who is chairman of the board. They are among the country’s most prominent businessmen. Cinépolis is the biggest theater chain in Mexico with 427 locations in 97 cities. It’s also the largest chain in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world (624 theaters, 5,000 screens). It’s in eight states including California and New York.
A spokesperson for Cinemark wasn’t immediately available to comment. But the Plano-Texas based chain, the nation’s second largest, used to be a player in Mexico before selling its theaters there to Grupo Cinemex in 2013. It still operates theaters in 15 other countries in Central and South America.
Cinemark executives said last month the chain is looking to reopen by July 1 with employees coming back roughly two weeks prior in late June. But openings could likely be state by state, even county by county, depending on opening up directives by local authorities.
According to an updated moviegoer study by EDO titled “Movie Theaters and Social Distancing,” 75% of respondents said they were more likely to return to cinemas upon their reopening when Tenet, Mulan and Russell Crowe’s Unhinged hit — if movie theaters implement certain safety measures.