Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group has agreed to pay $2.6 billion for US cinema chain AMC Entertainment.
According to Reuters, the deal is the largest acquisition by a privately held Chinese company and comes three months after Beijing agreed to allow more American films to be screened in Chinese cinemas.
The transaction would give Wanda – which has $35 billion worth of assets in China, including commercial properties, luxury hotels and department stores -- access to AMC’s 346 multiplex theatres and more than 5,000 screens in North America, according to a joint statement issued by the companies.
Wanda and AMC said the transaction would create the world's largest cinema owner.
"This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theatres and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world's two largest movie markets,” Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin said in the statement issued Sunday.
The deal is subject to US and Chinese regulatory approval.
According to the Wall Street Journal, China has been investing heavily in its domestic film industry and hopes to use acquisitions such as AMC to help promote its homegrown movies overseas.
Earlier this year, Hollywood studio DreamWorks announced plans to build a studio in Shanghai to develop animated and live-action movies, television shows and other entertainment tailored to the Chinese market.