Dalian Wanda Group Buys Legendary Entertainment in $3.5Bln Deal
China-based Dalian Wanda Group (HKG:3699) is going to Hollywood, purchasing the Legendary Entertainment film studio in a $3.5 billion deal that would turn its company chairman into a movie mogul. Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda and the richest man in China, has been ramping up his efforts to diversify his portfolio overseas.
Wang announced the acquisition at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday, stating that he plans to package Legendary with the company’s current moving production assets in China. He also plans to sell shares in the merged company through an initial public offering.
The deal would make Wanda the first Chinese company to own a major studio in Hollywood.
Wang provided no further details on his plan for the IPO, but he did note that Wanda purchased the studio not just for its intellectual property, but also for the studio’s films.
The move to purchase Legendary Entertainment will mark the largest overseas acquisition for Wanda in its history, as Wang continues to diversify the company’s portfolio. The company has been buying companies in virtually every sector from finance to Atletico Madrid, a Spanish soccer club.
Under the deal, Wanda will purchase an unspecified majority stake in the studio. Thomas Tull, CEO and founder of Legendary, will remain at the helm.
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