A weird thing happened to AMC Entertainment in January. The movie theater giant was reeling from the pandemic, facing a potential bankruptcy, and its stock was trading at $2 per share.
And then it became a meme.
Online traders gathering on platforms like Reddit and TikTok embraced the company’s stock and propelled its share price upward (it opened Wednesday at $30 per share). What happened next may have saved the company: $600 million in debt was wiped out by Silver Lake, majority owner Wanda Group sold all its stock, and most importantly, AMC itself sold over $1 billion worth of stock, giving it a financial lifeline and leaving some 4 million retail traders (or, “apes,” as some of those traders call themselves) owning more than 80 percent of the company.
Despite the unusual warning to investors when it announced the stock sale (“Under the circumstances, we…