Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co., one of the biggest theater owners in the United States, is in talks to acquire a stake in Santa Monica independent studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Wang Jianlin, the Beijing company’s chairman said. Shares of Lions Gate rose 3 percent on the news.
Owners of Lions Gate, the $4.7 billion studio behind the “Hunger Games” film franchise, are for now only willing to sell a minority stake, Wang said in an interview with Bloomberg. The talks, however, are only in early stages.
The companies are discussing the possibility of Wanda acquiring Lions Gate shares currently held by Chairman Mark Rachesky, who currently owns 37 percent of the company and is its biggest shareholder, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Wanda controls the second-biggest cinema chain in the United States, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
Shares of Lions Gate rose $1, or 3 percent, in Monday trading to close at $34.90.
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