Date
26 September 2017
Dalian Wanda wants to buy a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment, the maker the Hunger Games movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence. Photo: Nerdist
Dalian Wanda wants to buy a stake in Lions Gate Entertainment, the maker the Hunger Games movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence. Photo: Nerdist

Wanda eyes stake in Hunger Games maker

Dalian Wanda Group Co., owner of the AMC cinema chain, is in talks to buy a stake in US film studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the Financial Times reported, citing the Chinese conglomerate’s chairman Wang Jianlin.

Wang has held talks with Mark Rachesky, Lions Gate’s chairman and largest shareholder, about acquiring some or all of his 37 percent stake in the company, the report said, citing unnamed sources.

Wang told Bloomberg News that he wanted to buy a controlling stake in Lions Gate, which makes The Hunger Games film series and Mad Men television show, but that the studio was interested in selling him a minority stake.

He also revealed that Wanda had held talks with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the studio that produces James Bond films. Lions Gate and MGM declined to comment.

The discussions come two years after Wanda first entered the US market with the acquisition of AMC. The Chinese group, which has bought a property in Beverly Hills, California and will spend US$1.2 billion on developing the site, plans to control 20 percent of the global cinema market by 2020.

“Many people come knock at my door but Wanda is only interested in the big players and we want control,” Wang told Bloomberg. “China’s movie industry is booming at unprecedented speed. Buying a well known US company will help our distribution overseas.”

Talks are at an early stage and may not lead to a deal, Wang was quoted as saying.

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