Dalian Wanda in talks to buy controlling stake in Dick Clark Productions

Dalian Wanda Group, the world's largest cinema chain operator, is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Dick Clark Productions, as the Chinese conglomerate expands its interest in Hollywood-related deals.

Dalian Wanda, which recently opened its $5.1-billion Disney-like theme park called Nanchang Wanda  Park, is in talks to acquire a majority stake in Dick Clark Productions at a valuation of $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported.

''Dick Clark Productions and Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group Co, Ltd., have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with the shared goal of finalising a mutually satisfactory transaction,'' said a spokesman for Eldridge Industries, which controls Dick Clark Productions.

Dick Clark Productions, owned by Eldridge Industries, had earlier this year said that it had hired bankers to conduct a strategic review and had invited investors including Chinese companies to buy a stake in the company.

Founded by entertainer Dick Clark in 1957, Dick Clark Productions is the world's largest producer and owner of televised live event entertainment programming.

The Santa Monica, California-based studio has produced a number of television shows, including the Academy of Country Music Awards, American Country Countdown Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood Film Awards and the Streamy Awards.

Its weekly television programming includes So You Think You Can Dance, and World's Funniest.

It also has a vast library of archives including performances by Madonna, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, among others.

Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, has recently been aggressively spending on projects and acquisitions ranging from entertainment to financial services in a bid to diversify away from its core, but slowing, domestic real estate operations.

Wang, whose sprawling business ranges from property to malls, entertainment and finance, recently acquired Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in cash.

Beijing-based Wanda Group is the largest operator of theatres in China with a portfolio that includes over 400 theatres and over 6,000 screens as well as large-scale stage show, film production and distribution, entertainment chains and Chinese calligraphy and painting collections.

The group operates five major businesses, including commercial properties, luxury hotels, tourism investment, cultural industries and department stores. It operates 125 Wanda Plazas, 81 hotels, including 68 five-star hotels, and 99 department stores nationwide.

In 2012, it acquired Missouri-based AMC Entertainment in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, in order to create the world's biggest cinema chain.