Sep 28, 2016

    China's Wanda keen to buy over Dick Clark firm


    CHINESE property-to-entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Dick Clark Productions, the company that runs the Golden Globe awards and Miss America pageants, as it expands a growing Hollywood portfolio.

    Run by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as Jurassic World - which was the biggest US-China movie deal when it was sealed in January. It also owns United States cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.

    A source familiar with deal said Wanda was looking to bid US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) for the TV production company, but cautioned the deal was not yet certain. The person could not be named as the deal value is not public.

    "Dick Clark Productions and Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group, have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with the shared goal of finalising a mutually satisfactory transaction," a spokesman for Eldridge Industries, the owner of Dick Clark Productions, said in an e-mailed statement.

    He declined to comment on the deal value. Wanda declined to comment yesterday.

    Last month, however, Mr Wang told Reuters he expected to seal two billion-dollar deals in the US this year.

    He aims to bring Hollywood technology and muscle to China, and has expressed interest in the so-called "big six" Hollywood studios.

    "Only the six are real global film companies, while the rest are not. If we are to build a real movie empire, this is a necessary step," Mr Wang said then.

    Based in Santa Monica, California, Dick Clark Productions also produces the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards.