China’s Wanda Poised for Film Unit Consolidation

Wanda Legendary Partnership China and Hollywood
Edward Tuckwell for Variety

China’s Dalian Wanda group is to inject film production unit Wanda Pictures into its Wanda Cinema Line theaters division.

The move is part of an ongoing reshuffle of its film businesses that will follow completion of the $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment.

Wanda last week revealed that Wanda Pictures and its physical studio operations in Qingdao would receive a total of $384 million capital injection from a friendly property company Oceanwide.

Shares in Wanda Cinema Line, which are normally traded on the Shenzhen stock exchange, were suspended in late February pending an acquisition. That acquisition now appears to be the transfer of assets from the Wanda parent company.

In a regulatory filing Wanda Cinema said its shares could now remain suspended until April 8.

Wanda’s chairman Wang Jianlin has previously touted reorganization of the group’s fast-growing entertainment businesses.

At one stage earlier this year he talked of initial public listings for either the film production division, or the film distribution division — or both. But with IPOs proving difficult in the current equity markets the reshuffle of Wanda Pictures into an existing listed operation is an easier option.

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