The deal will see Cineworld gain access to the North American market
The British cinema chain Cineworld is to buy its US rival Regal Entertainment for stg£2.7bn (€3.05bn).
The company says the acquisition will create a "globally diversified cinema operator" across ten countries.
It will also allow Cineworld to access the North American cinema market, which has the largest box office market in the world.
Following completion of the deal, Cineworld and Regal will have a combined 9,542 screens across the United States and Europe - making it the second largest
operator in the world by number of screens.
Cineworld Group plc was founded in 1995 and is now one of the leading cinema groups in Europe.
Originally a private company, it re-registered as a public company in May 2006 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in May 2007.
It has had a presence in Ireland since 2012.
In 2016, Cineworld says there were over 100 million customer admissions across all its cinemas.
Commenting on the acquisition Mooky Greindinger, CEO of Cineworld, said: "We have long had high respect for Regal and for its strong position in the largest box office market in the world and we are delighted that the Regal directors have unanimously agreed to recommend our offer to their shareholders.
"Regal is a great business and provides Cineworld with the optimal platform on which we can continue our growth strategy.
"Both companies are strongly committed to bringing a high end cinematic experience to their customers.
"Consolidation is an important move forward and the best practice we have successfully rolled out across Europe will be the key driver to continued success."
Amy Miles, CEO of Regal, added: "We are excited to have reached an agreement with Cineworld, at a price that represents a meaningful premium on Regal’s unaffected share price for our shareholders.
"We believe the transaction announced today provides compelling value for our stockholders.
"We believe this partnership with Cineworld will enhance Regal’s ability to deliver a premium movie-going experience for customers and further build upon our strategy of introducing innovative concepts and premium amenities designed to enhance the value of our theatre assets."