Two years after buying AMC Cinemas, Dalian Wanda, the Chinese entertainment and retail group, is in talks to buy a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp, the Hollywood film studio, according to Wang Jianlin, its chairman.
Mr Wang has also been in talks with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc about a possible investment, he told Bloomberg News Agency. His business empire includes department stores, tourism businesses and a chain of cinemas in China as well as AMC Entertainment, the second-largest US cinema chain, which he bought in 2012 for $2.6bn.
The billionaire said he was aiming to control 20 per cent of the global cinema market by 2020.
Lions Gate, the studio which made The Hunger Games series of films, was interested in selling him a minority stake, he said, but he wanted a majority. The talks might not end up as a deal, he added.
“Many people come knock at my door but Wanda is only interested in the big players and we want control,” Mr Wang said. “China’s movie industry is booming at unprecedented speed. Buying a well known US company will help our distribution overseas.”
According to Wanda’s official website, Mr Wang met Mark Rachesky, chairman of Lions Gate, in Beijing on Oct 8.