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SHANGHAI — Dalian Wanda, the Chinese property to cinemas group, is poised to buy a stake in leading Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid, according to reports.

An announcement in Beijing is expected to be made on Wednesday.

The company, which owns the AMC Entertainment cinema chain in North America, and is the 89% owner of Wanda Cinema Line in China, is expected to pay close to Euros45 million. Atletico will issue new shares giving the Chinese giant a 20% stake in the club.

Wanda’s investment would be expected to shore up Atletico’s finances and help it win new fans and sponsorship in China. The club last year won the Spanish league – La Liga – and is currently lying third in this year’s championship.

The Wanda alliance may also put the club in a stronger position as it attempts to gain control of the broadcasting rights to its own games – a position which makes Real Madrid and Barcelona so strong.

At Wanda’s annual general meeting on Sunday, chairman Wang Jianlin unveiled plans for what he called the fourth transformation of the group. He targeted a move further into the service industries and specifically called for “more daring.”

Wang said that by 2020 he wants the company to have net annual profits of RMB60 billion (US$9.5 billion) and for 65% of them to be derived from service industries. He also targets 20% being earned from outside China.

Wanda would be the first company from mainland China to own a significant piece of a major European soccer club, though there are other prominent investors from elsewhere in Asia, including Vincent Tan (Cardiff City) and Air Asia boss Tony Fernandes (Queens Park Rangers). Birmingham City’s parent company Birmingham International is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.Wanda is a major sponsor of China’s Super League.