Chinese Billionaire To Acquire Australian Cinema Chain Hoyts Group

An investment vehicle owned by Chinese billionaire Sun Xishuang is planning to acquire The Hoyts Group, Australia’s number two cinema chain, from Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners, according to a Reuters report citing a source with close knowledge of the matter.

The investment vehicle, ID Leisure International Capital, may potentially pay around A$900 million (US$743 million) for the cinema chain.

Pacific Equity Partners, with US$5 billion under management, previously aimed for an IPO of Hoyts, but is now in favor of a sale to the Chinese investor as Australia’s stock market conditions became less welcoming.

The private equity firm bought Hoyts for A$440 million (US$364 million) from an investor consortium back in 2007.

Sun Xishuang is the chairman of Dalian Yifang Group, an investment holding company with businesses in financial services, tourism and the properties sector.

Sun holds around 6.3% of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co., Ltd., which is currently seeking to raise US$3.9 billion in a Hong Kong IPO. He also holds around 4.2% of Dalian Wanda Cinema Line Co.

Sun’s Yifang Group has close ties to Dalian Wanda. The two companies both have their headquarters in Wanda Plaza in the central business district in Beijing, and have worked together on multiple tourism and property projects.

Sun is ranked as the 18th richest person on the Hurun Rich List of Real Estate in China last year, with net worth of US$2.4 billion.

Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties acquired U.S. entertainment group AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. for US$2.6 billion in 2012.

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