China’s Wanda in Talks for Bid on European Cinema Chains (Report)

Clarence Tsui
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HONG KONG – Dalian Wanda is in talks to add a European cinema chain to its already global film-exhibition network, according to a report.

The group, which purchased AMC Entertainment Holdings last year at the cost of $2.6 billion, are meeting with representatives from Britain's Odeon & UCI Holdings and Vue Entertainment, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Sunday.

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A Wanda spokesman confirmed the group has held talks to buy a European chain but declined to elaborate, the report added. 

Dalian Wanda runs about 1,000 screens in China, in addition to the 5,000 U.S. and Canadian screens the group acquired when buying AMC last year. A move for either Odeon & UCI or Vue could further expand the Chinese conglomerate’s global reach: the former owns 2,179 screens in seven countries, while the latter runs 1,150 in Europe and Taiwan.

Led by chairman Wang Jianlin, Dalian Wanda’s business in China touches on real estate, retail and hotels. In December, the company joined forces with India’s Reliance to explore property development and film exhibition projects.