Dalian Wanda Interested in Lionsgate, MGM Stake (Report)

Lionsgate

Dalian Wanda Group wants to own a controlling stake in Lionsgate, the Chinese conglomerate’s chairman told Bloomberg.

Wang Jianlin, the head of Wanda, said his company has also had talks about investing in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as it looks for ways to enhance its presence in the United States.

“China’s movie industry is booming at unprecedented speed,” Wang told Bloomberg. “Buying a well-known U.S. company will help our distribution overseas.”

Spokespeople for Lionsgate and MGM did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Wanda only wants to purchase a majority share in the studio, something Lionsgate is hesitant to do, according to the report.

The talks are described as being in the early stages, so they could fall apart, but it’s a sign of Wanda’s seriousness about broadening its portfolio of investments that Wang went public with his ambitions.

Wanda isn’t the only Chinese company that has been looking for ways to become more deeply involved the entertainment industry. Alibaba also reportedly was interested in acquiring Lionsgate co-chairman Mark Rachesky’s 37% stake in the studio, and representatives for the e-commerce company recently met with executives at several major studios to discuss possible collaborations.

Other Chinese players who have strengthened their U.S. profile include investment firm Fosun, which has backed former Warner Bros. studio chief Jeff Robinov’s new venture, Studio 8, and Hony Capital, which is investing in producer Robert Simonds’ new studio.

Wanda has already established a toehold in the U.S., buying AMC, the country’s second largest theater chain, in 2012 for $2.6 billion. The company also recently spent $1.2 billion to buy a Wilshire Boulevard site that will serve as the hub for Wanda’s entertainment investments. At the time, the company said the Wilshire property signaled its “first important step into Hollywood.”

Lionsgate’s hits include the “Divergent” and “Hunger Games” franchises and television shows such as “Orange is the New Black.”

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  1. mark says:

    Real intelligent posters today. Well,get real,idiots. Movie companies are no longer just American owned as even Steven Spielberg made a deal with India’s Reliance Group? to invest in Dreamworks films. Twenty First Century Fox is owned by an Australian,Mr. Murdoch who has joint residency status. Time Warner is still American owned but do not be surprised if more foreign folks show interest in the high cash generating value of film and tv production companies especially when syndicated tv series are a goldmine for certain hits like Friends,Big Bang Theory,etc. As for the usual nasty words about the China folks who own AMC,last time I was in one,it was Americans running the multiplex in my Florida area so jobs are not lost at the local level. And a few AMC theatres do show foreign films on occasion which is how it should be. Diversity. It’s our strength. But,no,ticket prices and concession higher prices will stay high no matter who owns a production studio or theatre chain. Nice to know the bright folks come here.

  2. stinky pete says:

    Fawk the Chinese – they’re all nasty criminals – sneaky bastids. Yet the Jews will sell to anyone.

  3. Contessa46 says:

    Are all these film corporations going to sell controlling interests to RED China? You all are giving the very fabric of the U.S. Away for a price. Are you all Insane? For a buck or wider distribution (so you say) you are willing to put thousands of jobs in danger? Patriotic you are NOT! Although they are inching closer to small freedoms, the government has the last say. What happens when they tell all you suits that all work will be done in China? What if they don’t like certain stars? What happens when they don’t like you? What are you going to do, sue them in China? Enforce a contract? It’s bad enough you’ve destroyed “Hollywood” the place where films were made exclusively. You executives are a bunch of greedy bastards caught up in a game that hurts us all! Can’t you see further than your wallet?

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