China’s Wanda Group Buys Dick Clark Productions in Billion-Dollar Deal

Deal is the latest in a string of billion-dollar entertainment acquisitions by the Chinese media conglomerate this year

Wang Jianlin Dalian Wanda China
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Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese company that owns entertainment assets ranging from Legendary Entertainment to AMC Theatres, has officially added the producer of the Golden Globes to its trophy case, sealing a deal for Dick Clark Productions worth about $1 billion.

TheWrap first reported that Dick Clark was for sale at that eye-popping valuation.

CEO Allen Shapiro will remain in place alongside the rest of the senior management team under Wanda’s ownership. In addition to the Golden Globes, DCP produces live franchises including the American Music Awards, the Miss America pageant, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the annual “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” telecast hosted by Ryan Seacrest.

The company also co-created the nine-time Emmy Award winning Fox competition “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Wanda acquired DCP from hedge fund manager Todd Boehly, who spun off the company from Guggenheim Partners alongside The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard magazine last year. Guggenheim paid $370 million for DCP in 2012.

The deal marks Wanda’s first foray into television after a multibillion-dollar Hollywood spending spree primarily focused on the big screen.

It also isn’t the first time Wanda has paid what many Hollywood insiders consider to be a significant premium for a trophy entertainment asset. Wanda acquired “Jurassic World” producer Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in January, despite the fact the studio lost $500 million last year. The company also explored purchasing a 49 percent stake in Paramount Pictures — before a power struggle at Viacom caused that deal to be pulled off the table — in a deal that would have valued the studio as high as $10 billion.

Wanda CEO Wang Jianlin — China’s richest man — visited Los Angeles last month, where he unveiled his $8.2 billion production facility in the coastal city of Qingdao and announced $750 billion in funding, making no secret of his desire to be the biggest player in global entertainment. And he continues to add storied assets — by the billion.