Chinese conglomerate to buy stake in Hollywood studio: reports

Wang Jianlin, chairman of property giant Wanda Group

Chinese powerhouse Dalian Wanda is reportedly in talks to buy a controlling stake in US film studio Legendary, providing the Communist Party-linked company with a key anchor in Hollywood.

The media and property group controlled by China's richest man Wang Jianlin is in advanced stages to buy the studio behind blockbusters "Godzilla" and "Pacific Rim", according to reports Tuesday in the New York Times and Financial Times newspapers.

The FT said Legendary Entertainment studios was valued at approximately $3 billion to $4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Wanda executives could not be reached for comment, and the company's public relations firm did not respond to requests from AFP for a statement.

China earns the second highest box office revenues in the world after the United States, according to the Motion Picture Association.

Wang burst into the international spotlight in 2012 when he bought major US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion. In China, Dalian Wanda owns more than 200 malls, shopping complexes, luxury hotels and the country's largest cinema chain.

The son of a Communist Red Army captain, Wang was a soldier before he founded Wanda in the 1980s, building it up with military discipline.

Now 61, Wang is the 13th richest man on the planet according to Bloomberg's real-time ranking, which put his net worth at $33.9 billion on Tuesday.

In October, Wang confirmed that Chinese President Xi Jinping's brother-in-law owned shares in one of the business mogul's firms, after allegations that political connections helped Wanda Group continued to surface.