Amazon has held talks with AMC Entertainment to acquire the theater retail chain, The Daily Mail reported this weekend. It's unclear whether the companies will make a deal or if the talks are still ongoing, but it's interesting to consider what it might mean that Amazon is trying to get into the theater business.
Now, you might be wondering why Amazon, of all companies, would want to buy a struggling theater chain during, of all times, a global pandemic that may require the theaters to remain closed for months.
But the move makes a lot of sense.
For one thing, Amazon operates its own studio, called Amazon Studios. The company could use AMC theater chains to boost its movie business and have an easy -- and controlled -- flow of content from its studios to its theaters. (It's worth noting that, last year, Netflix purchased the Paris, a beloved theater in New York City, which many observers assumed was a way to get its films qualified for Oscar consideration.)
Amazon clearly believes that it can play a major role in many markets, from health care to groceries, smart homes to streaming video. For years, Amazon has been expanding its footprint way beyond e-commerce. Reinventing the theater business doesn't seem so far-fetched in that context.
But perhaps more than anything, Amazon clearly understands that the pandemic won't last forever. With its cash and scale, the company is able to weather the storm and prepare to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.
Indeed, at the height of the pandemic last month, AMC's shares were hovering at just $2 per share -- down from their 52-week high of $13.93. It's a bargain.
It's also an important lesson for other business owners looking for new opportunities in a post-coronavirus world.
Like it or not, many companies that were performing well just a few months ago are now in deep trouble. And for companies that have the cash, now's the time to go shopping. Just ask Apple.
Jeff Bezos has built a career by being the kind of leader who can see opportunities where others don't. This may be another example of that. For business owners trying to reinvent their businesses or drum up new opportunities, thinking like Bezos is the way to go.