Feburay 25, 2016 ǀ Reporting from Hollywood
According to well-informed sources, Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd is about to purchase a significant stake in Hollywood-based Paramount Pictures. It is widely speculated that the deal might be announced on Friday.
The speculation follows the Tuesday announcement by Philippe Dauman, CEO of Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, that Viacom is exploring opportunities to sell “a significant minority equity investment” in Paramount Pictures. “We have received indications of interest from potential partners seeking a strategic investment in Paramount Pictures and I have decided to pursue discussions with a select group of potential investors,” said Mr. Dauman.
Chinese companies have turned their eyes to Hollywood in recent years. It is not surprising that Alibaba, Wanda and other Chinese companies are likely among this select group of potential investors. A well-informed source told US News Express that Wanda is the one who seals the deal. This might reflect what Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group said on Tuesday at Oxford University that “a major deal” will be announce this Friday.
Wanda purchase AMC, the world largest cinema chain operator, in May 2012 for a amount of $2.6 billion, and recently bought Burbank-based Legend Entertainment for $3.5 billion.
Paramount Pictures is America’s oldest film studio, founded in 1912. It is worth about $4 billion, according to Los Angeles Times.