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UPDATE 1-AMC Entertainment to seek investor approval for 500 million shares sale, CEO tells CNBC

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(Adds details from company statement, background, shares)

April 1 (Reuters) - Cinema operator AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc is seeking shareholder approval to sell 500 million shares to the public, its top boss Adam Aron said in a CNBC interview on Thursday.

The approval would give the board the flexibility to authorize future issuances for a variety of purposes, the company said.

A share sale could help AMC shore up its finances that have been hit by pandemic-related closures and delays in the launch of big movies as well as the growth of online entertainment providers.

AMC said in January that it had raised $917 million since mid-December through equity and debt issues. It raised an additional $304.8 million in the same month through a share sale.

Shares of the world's largest theater chain were down about 5% in afternoon trading. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)