Wanda seals US$3.5 bln deal to acquire Legendary

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group formally announced its acquisition of leading Hollywood production company, Legendary Entertainment at press conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co. [Photo/youth.cn]

Dalian Wanda Group Co. will buy Legendary Entertainment for its intellectual property rights for no more than US$3.5 billion. This will help China have a bigger say in the global film industry, said Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the property and entertainment giant.
This is the biggest cultural merger by a Chinese enterprise overseas.
"The acquisition of Legendary will make Wanda Film Holdings Company the highest revenue-generating film company in the world, increasing Wanda's presence in China and the US, the world's two largest markets," said the tycoon, "Wanda's businesses will encompass the full scope of film production, exhibition and distribution, enhancing Wanda's core competitiveness and amplifying our voice in the global film market."
Wang added that the merger will also give Legendary Entertainment more opportunities in the Chinese market, already the second biggest in the world. This will help Legendary have great growth in the future.
Under the terms of the deal, Thomas Tull will remain as Chairman and CEO of Legendary and will continue to be responsible for its day-to-day operations. Wanda will own over 50 percent of Legendary which was founded by Tull 16 years ago and has since produced or co-produced blockbusters including "Jurassic World," "Pacific Rim," "The Dark Knight," "Godzilla" and "The Man of Steel."
Tull has been trying to expand in Asia with Legendary East and signed an agreement in 2013 with China Film Co. to jointly produce Chinese-element films for wider global audiences, such as "The Great Wall," which was directed by Zhang Yimou and stars Matt Damon and Andy Lau. "The Great Wall," which was Tull’s idea, is now in post-production.
Legendary will join Wanda's growing global entertainment portfolio that already includes AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Infront Sports & Media AG, Australian cinema operator Hoyts Group and a stake in Spain's Club Atletico de Madrid soccer team.

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