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Wanda-AMC deal creates world’s largest cinema chain

A cinema in Beijing is shown in this file photo.

Ng Han Guan/AP

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is interested in buying more U.S. theatre chains following its purchase of cineplex owner AMC Entertainment, the company's chairman said on Tuesday.

Further deals would be part of the Chinese company's plan to invest $10-billion in U.S. acquisitions, Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin told reporters. The purchases would be made by AMC on Wanda's behalf, he said.

"We see other possible (merger and acquisition) opportunities, but we can't lose sight of the need for them to be profitable," he said.

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Wanda also is talking with the five largest Hollywood studios about the possibility of investing in films or creating movie funds with the studios, Mr. Jianlin said.

Wanda announced the completion of its $2.6-billion purchase of theatre owner AMC on Tuesday, creating the world's largest theatre chain.

Dalian Wanda Group Co.'s purchase reflects the global ambitions of cash-rich Chinese companies that are using acquisitions to speed their expansion.

The Beijing-based company said it will invest an additional $500-million in AMC and keep its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.

AMC, which operates 338 cinemas, is owned by a group of private-equity firms.

Wanda, founded in 1988 and privately owned, operates hotels, department stores, tourism and other businesses. It has 94 theatres in China.

With files from AP

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