China's Wanda extends into Hollywood with Dick Clark deal
Updated: 2016-11-04 23:36
Dalian Wanda is extending the Chinese property-entertainment conglomerate's buying spree into US television, agreeing to a $1 billion acquisition of Dick Clark Productions, which runs the Golden Globes, the Miss America pageant and other major awards shows.
Wanda said in a statement on Friday that the deal marked its "first step" into television content to sit alongside its investments in theme parks, film production and sport. It added it would keep Dick Clark's current management team after the deal.
Dick Clark's owner, media investment holding company Eldridge Industries, had said it was in talks with Wanda in September.
Dick Clark Productions is an iconic name in US entertainment that also produces the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. Founded by TV presenter Dick Clark, host of the American Bandstand pop music TV show from 1957 to 1987, the eponymous firm went public in 1986 before being taken private 16 years later.
Wanda's deal is its latest move into Hollywood. Earlier this year, Wanda paid a reported $3.5 billion to acquire Legendary Entertainment, the studio behind Pacific Rim, Warcraft and the upcoming The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon. It owns the US cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. It also has business ties with Sony Pictures and Sony Corp's film unit in China.
In August, Wang told Reuters he expected to seal two billion-dollar deals in the US this year. He aims to bring Hollywood technology, directors and even stars to China. Wang is trying to attract Hollywood film makers with subsidies to a new production studio he is building in China's eastern city of Qingdao. US film producers are also looking for a way into China's fast-growing cinema market.
Wang also has said he wants to own a Hollywood studio. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published this week on THR.com, he said he would establish a multibillion-dollar fund to invest in all ``six big’’ Hollywood studios.
"I might as well start from wherever I can, such as through investment with all six [studios]," Wang said in the interview. "We will continue to work on a potential acquisition. But it won't hurt to start by doing what we can. Participating via investment seems like a wise choice for the time being."
Wanda’s buying spree has drawn concern from among some US lawmakers about China's influence in Hollywood and the impact it might have on media in the United States. Wang has said his motivation comes from a "business perspective" and is not a political one.
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