UPDATE 1-Anil Ambani's Reliance Group, China's Wanda to form JV

Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:39am EST

* Tie up to develop real estate, movie theatre projects

* Latest partnership between Indian billionaire and China (Adds details, background)

Dec 13 (Reuters) - Indian billionaire Anil Ambani's Reliance Group and China's Dalian Wanda Group on Thursday announced a tie-up to develop real estate and movie theatre projects, the latest partnership between Ambani and China.

The groups, which did not give any financial details, said they will first look to build integrated township projects in India involving a combined area of about 20 million square feet across two projects.

Ambani's Reliance MediaWorks will also explore possible co-operation with Wanda Group in the multiplex business in India and the United States, the companies said in a statement.

The ambitious Wanda Group became the world's biggest movie theatre owner this year with the $2.6 billion acquisition of U.S. multiplex operator AMC Entertainment, and plans to spend $10 billion in North America over a decade.

Earlier this year, Ambani's heavily-indebted Reliance Communications repaid holders of foreign bonds by raising a loan of $1.2 billion from a clutch of Chinese state banks.

Also this year, his Reliance Power secured $1.1 billion in financing from Chinese banks for a power project in central India.

Ambani said in a statement that his group has become the "single largest trading partner between India and China." (Reporting by Nandita Bose and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Tony Munroe and Elaine Hardcastle)

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