BRISBANE, Australia – A Chinese investor, and associate of Dalian Wanda, is the front runner to buy Australian cinema chain Hoyts.

Hoyts, which is currently owned by Pacific Equity Partners, had planned an $800-$900 million initial public offering but cancelled that last month. PEP has since revealed that it is in talks with private company ID Leisure International Capital.

According to documents seen by Australian media, ID is owned by Sun Xishuang a Chinese businessman with a personal net worth of $1.3 billion.

Sun, who is chairman of property developer Dalian Yifang Group, has close ties to Wanda, which is China’s biggest cinema operator and is also controlling shareholder in AMC Theaters. Yifang and Wanda have previously collaborated on several property and tourism projects.

Sun is understood to own a 6.3% stake in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties and a 4.2% stake in Wanda Cinema Line, Wanda’s exhibition circuit which recently received approval for its own IPO.