Wanda Suspends Takeover Talks with European Cinemas05-02 17:27 Caijing
Twists have added to attempts by China's largest theatre owner to expand overseas as takeover talks with European cinemas were suspended, Chinese media said.
Dalian Wanda Group Corp., was reportedly meeting with representatives from Britain's Odeon & UCI Holdings and Vue Entertainment, as part of its efforts to expand its already global film-exhibition network. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal in early April, a Wanda spokesman confirmed the group has held talks to buy a European chain but declined to elaborate.
Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Dalian Wanda Group Corp, told aastocks.com that the talks are now suspended after the European part/parts "failed to abide by confidentiality agreements" and leaked the news.
Both Odeon & UCI and Vue Entertainment are known to be up for sale. Odeon & UCI is the largest threat owner in Europe, with 2,179 screens at 236 theatres in seven European countries.
The negotiations for a possible buy-out came only months after the Chinese conglomerate purchased the second-largest U.S. chain, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc last year at the cost of $2.6 billion in the largest acquisition by a privately held Chinese company.
The purchase of AMC, which has 338 theatres suited across North America, has made Wanda the world's largest theatre owner, combined with its 94 own theatres in China.
Despite the setback, Mr. Wang said he is still looking into opportunities in the European and US cinema chains. He projected a "radical change" of its role in the industry, if a multi-region cinema empire-a combination of domestic market and major overseas markets like Europe and the United States.
"Cinemas' advertising revenue will then multiply…..there will be new effects generated by every expansion from where the company profits, therefore changing the way how it makes money," Mr. Wang said.
The next goal for Wanda is to have a 20 percent market shares of the global movie industry by 2020, Wang said in an interview with CNBC last week.
Wanda, which also has interests in property, TV and theme parks, is now looking into cinema businesses in Europe, Australia and Japan, Wang added.
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