Wanda eyes 49% stake in Paramount Pictures
CHINESE conglomerate Wanda is in talks to buy
a stake in US film studio Paramount Pictures, according to a report, marking the Asian company's latest move
to expand its
Wanda, which in January bought production giant Legendary Entertainment for US$3.5 billion
(S$4.7 billion), is seeking
49 per cent of Paramount from parent company Viacom, the Wall Street Journal quoted "people familiar with the discussions" as saying.
It did not say how much the deal would be worth.
The agreement would give Paramount - which is behind the Star Trek and Indiana Jones franchises -
a crucial foothold in the
vast Chinese market.
But the Wall Street Journal said hurdles
remain before any deal.
The report comes as Viacom is embroiled in
a bitter internal power struggle that pits controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone and his family against other executives.
In late February, chairman and chief executive Philippe Dauman said the firm would sell
a significant minority stake in the movie studio and
had received expressions
But months later,
Mr Redstone said he opposed any such sale in what he considered the jewel in the Viacom empire.
Wanda, founded by one of China's richest men, Wang Jianlin, has its origins in commercial property.
However, it is diversifying into
areas - ranging from entertainment to sport.
It bought US movie theatre chain AMC
in 2012 for US$2.6 billion.
AMC just days ago announced it was buying London-based Odeon & UCI cinema group in
a deal worth around