Wanda Seeking $1.5 Billion Investment for Film Unit, WSJ Reports

  • Company values Wanda Pictures at $5.3 billion, Journal says
  • Wanda recently bought Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion

Dalian Wanda Group Co., the Chinese conglomerate planning an IPO for its film unit, is seeking to raise $1.5 billion from domestic Chinese investors for Wanda Pictures at a $5.3 billion valuation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Journal report cited a document prepared by the company.

Wanda Pictures, which makes Chinese-language films such as “Mojin: The Lost Legend," agreed in January to acquire Burbank, California-based Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion. Chairman Wang Jianlin said in January that Wanda planned to package Legendary with some of its filmmaking and distribution assets for an initial public offering.

Wanda Group, which also controls the second-largest U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., has been seeking acquisitions to bolster growth as the group braces for falling sales from its main real-estate property business. That’s prompted Wang, who vies with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Jack Ma as China’s richest man, to increasingly look toward expanding his entertainment business.

Wanda Group in August agreed to buy Ironman organizer World Triathlon Corp. for $650 million, becoming the owner of the world’s largest sports operating company and adding to its sports-related holdings that include marketing company Infront Sports & Media AG and a 20 percent stake in Spanish soccer team Atletico Madrid.

Wanda Group also is building the world’s biggest studio-plus-theme park on China’s eastern coast and in 2014 bought land in Beverly Hills, calling the $1.2 billion complex it plans to erect there its “first important step into Hollywood.”

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