ShanghaiOriental Pearl Group (OPG), owned by China's second largest media conglomerate,the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), is acquiring a stake in Australian TV channeloperator Pan TV, according to local press reports.

OPG has signedan agreement to buy the stake but is still awaiting approval from Chineseregulators according to spokesman Hua Wei. He didn't reveal the size or priceof the proposed shareholding.

Pan TV operatesthe World Movies Channel which screens independent and world cinema, often sourceddirectly at film festivals, arthouse classics and feature documentaries. Thecompany is jointly owned by Kerry Stokes' Australian Capital Equity, APN Newsand Media and public broadcaster SBS.

OPG said itwanted to learn from the channel's experience and create a platform for bothparties to share film resources.

The deal wouldmark the first time that SMG has invested directly in an overseas media companyalthough it's formed a string of China-based joint ventures with global mediagroups including CNBC and Viacom.

Chineseauthorities have recently clamped down on Sino-foreign media joint ventures bydeclaring that local companies can't partner with more than one foreign mediagroup.