BEIJING (Reuters) - Wanda Cinema Line Corp (002739.SZ), a unit of China’s leading property developer Dalian Wanda Group, said it would buy Australian cinema chain Hoyts Group, a purchase that underscores its parent’s ambitions to become a global entertainment company.
Wanda Cinema, in a regulatory filing on Tuesday, did not disclose how much it would pay for Hoyts.
In December, Chinese businessman Sun Xishuang, a major shareholder in Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co (3699.HK) and a friend of Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, bought Hoyts from private equity fund Pacific Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.
Hoyts operates some 450 cinema screens in Australia. Wanda Cinema currently operates China’s biggest theatre chain, with over 150 motion-picture houses in more than 80 cities.
The acquisition is the latest push by Dalian Wanda into entertainment as it seeks to diversify its holdings away from real estate.
In February, Dalian Wanda agreed to acquire Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG for 1.05 billion euros ($1.15 billion) after making a 45 million euro investment in Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid.
In 2013, Dalian Wanda agreed to oversee a 50 billion yuan ($8.07 billion) investment in a movie studio and entertainment complex in the Chinese coastal city Qingdao. A year earlier, it bought AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N), the second largest U.S. cinema chain, for $2.6 billion.
Reporting By Matthew Miller and Shu Zhang; Editing by Miral Fahmy