×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Wanda Acquires Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 Billion

China’s property and entertainment giant Dalian Wanda has formally announced its acquisition of leading Hollywood production company, Legendary Entertainment.

The blockbuster deal is worth $3.5 billion.

Such a move has been widely speculated about since late last year, when Variety broke news of deal talks.

Wanda made an announcement of the deal on Tuesday morning (local time) in Beijing, describing the Legendary acquisition as a “merger,” though Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin made it clear that his company will have an outright majority.

“Together, Wanda and Legendary will create a completely new international entertainment company,” said Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, who will remain chairman. “There is an ever growing demand for quality entertainment content worldwide, particularly in China, and we will combine our respective strengths to bring an even better entertainment experience to the world’s audiences.”

Producer of such films as “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla,” Legendary already has a Chinese offshoot Legendary East which is now in post-production on its first movie “The Great Wall.” Directed by China’s Zhang Yimou from a story idea originally hatched by Tull, the $150 million picture is straight out of the Legendary playbook, targeting a global fan-boy audience with a high concept fantasy pitch and copious CGI.

“Legendary is a diversified company with activities in analytics, digital and publishing. All of these will be fortified by the new relationship with Wanda,” said Tull from the podium at the ceremony.

The deal is one of the largest moves yet into Hollywood by a Chinese company, and follows a year of moves involving Lionsgate and STX.

“Legendary’s products are indeed legendary and will certainly boost our tourism and cultural businesses.” said Wang. “We have much to learn. The Chinese film industry is 30-50 years behind that of the U.S.”

“Wanda already has an important position in the Chinese film industry, but we need a global position. Maybe we will acquire a larger company [in Hollywood],” said Wang. He said that Wanda has eyed acquisitions in Europe, but said that asking prices are too high. “We will wait.”

“For this deal to happen Thomas Tull, who is a major shareholder in Legendary, needed to trust us. We plan some IPOs for our film businesses. it is a great time for him to join us.”

Wang ducked questions about China’s soft power ambitions. “This deal is about making money,” he said. “We will be involved in Legendary’s movie productions. We can co-produce, we can get better than 25% [the proportion of revenue remitted to Hollywood for imported movies].”

Those attending the ceremony included Wanda chairman Wang, Wanda VP Jack Gao, Tull and Legendary East CEO Peter Loehr.

Advisors on the deal were Joshua B. Grode Partner, Irell & Manella LLP who advised Wanda, and Marty Willhite Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, Legendary Entertainment who advised Legendary.

 

More Biz

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    CBS Credit Union Manager Pleads Guilty to $40 Million Fraud

    The manager of a credit union for CBS employees pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court on Monday to a $40 million embezzlement scheme. Edward Rostohar, 62, was arrested in March after the scheme began to unravel. According to prosecutors, he admitted to stealing money from the bank for the last 20 years. Rostohar is [...]

  • Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The

    CAA's Packaging Fee Becomes Flashpoint in 'Walking Dead' Litigation

    The issue that is at the heart of the WGA’s present standoff with talent agencies has flared up as a source of tension in the litigation between AMC Networks and Frank Darabont and CAA over profit participation on “The Walking Dead.” The practice of talent agencies receiving packaging fees for helping to assemble the creative [...]

  • Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’

    Sony Music to Deliver ‘Real Time’ Data, Royalty Payments to Artists

    Sony Music today announced two new payment features for its artists — “Real Time Royalties” and “Cash Out” — through its artist portal beginning this fall. 

A memo sent to artists Monday morning and obtained by Variety says  the initiatives will “allow our artists and royalty participants to view and withdraw earnings faster than ever [...]

  • Whitney Houston

    Whitney Houston Estate Plans Hologram Tour, Album, Musical

    In the seven years since Whitney Houston’s death, there has been relatively little of the asset-exploitation that usually follows the passing of a music icon, apart from a smattering of previously unreleased recordings, a pair of harrowing documentaries and a lot of unflattering press. But according to an article in the New York Times, the [...]

  • rocketman-elton-john-costume

    Elton John Biopic 'Rocketman' Taps Lucky Brand Collaboration as Part of Promo Push

    Paramount has set a May 28 release date for its Elton John-inspired clothing collection with retailer Lucky Brand, which celebrates the performer’s iconic style and new biopic, “Rocketman” (see tickets and showtimes here). The limited-edition collaboration arrives in stores three days before the film hits theaters, though it’s available for purchase right now on LuckyBrand.com. [...]

  • Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android

    Huawei Restricted From Using Google's Android as U.S.-China Tensions Mount

    Google has prevented controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei from accessing the latest versions of the Android mobile phone operating system. The move follows U.S. government attempts to blacklist the Chinese firm. “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” Google sources told news agencies Sunday. “Huawei will only be able to use the [...]

  • ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired

    ‘Hitsville: The Making of Motown’ Acquired by Showtime for U.S.

    Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content