June 24, 2015 / 1:25 PM / 4 years ago

China's Dalian Wanda to acquire Australia's Hoyts for $365.7 million

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Wanda Cinema Line Corp (002739.SZ), a unit of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, plans to buy Australian cinema operator Hoyts Group for $365.7 million, as part of the parent’s efforts to strengthen its presence in the global entertainment industry.

“This deal will help realize the company’s strategy to go global and will help boost our scale and international presence,” Wanda Cinema said in a Chinese-language statement on the Shenzhen stock exchange on Wednesday.

“We will take the opportunity to enter the Pacific market by acquiring an established company to boost our branding.”

Hoyts operates some 450 cinema screens in Australia, while Wanda Cinema owns China’s biggest theater chain, with over 150 motion-picture houses in more than 80 cities.

The latest acquisition, which will be made in cash, underscores Dalian Wanda Group’s global ambitions.

In February, Dalian Wanda agreed to acquire Swiss sports marketing firm Infront Sports & Media AG for 1.05 billion euros ($1.17 billion) after making a 45 million euro investment in Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid.

In 2012, it bought AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N), the second largest U.S. cinema chain, for $2.6 billion.

(Corrects value of sale in the headline and first para to $365.7 million (not $375 million)

Editing by Keith Weir

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