Dalian Wanda’s ‘Billion-Dollar’ Deal for Dick Clark Productions Isn’t Closed – Will It?

Lag in final payment could signal Wanda wants to pay less than the reported $1 billion sale price

Last Updated: February 6, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

The sale of Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion to the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group made big headlines in November, but the deal is still not complete, a company insider told TheWrap on Monday.

“The deal isn’t totally closed,” said the insider at Eldridge Industries, Todd Boehly’s parent company that owns Dick Clark and The Hollywood Reporter. “There is a scheduled series of payments, and the last one is expected at the end of this month. When the payment is done at end of month it will be done.”

Other individuals with knowledge of the deal said that the fact that the payments are not completed is a sign that Dalian Wanda may be renegotiating terms of the pricey acquisition, especially with potential opposition looming from the Trump administration.

The insider could not confirm the amount that had been paid up to now, but said only about the next payment, “No one is expecting it not to be on time.”

A spokesman for DCP declined to comment. Wanda did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The deal could also face intense scrutiny from the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a third individual with knowledge of Hollywood-China dealmaking said.

The notion that an overseas company would own the producer of such high-profile American cultural events could be met with  resistance from Peter Navarro, the head of President Trump’s newly created White House Trade Council, and Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross.

Representatives for Navarro and Ross did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Treasury committee is set to meet in the coming days on a wide range of issues in Washington, D.C.

At the time of its announcement, numerous industry players said they found the DCP deal to be wildly overvalued, though Chinese companies have paid high prices for similar assets in the past year. The Wanda Group was reported to have paid $3.5 billion, for Thomas Tull‘s Legendary Pictures, but Tull left the company last month after the company’s poor performance meant that his stock payout was not going to happen.

Wanda acquired DCP from Boehly, who spun off the company from Guggenheim Partners alongside THR and Billboard magazine last year. Guggenheim paid $370 million for DCP in 2012.

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