Dick Clark Productions Says Wanda ‘Failed to Honor Contractual Obligations’ in Dead Deal

TheWrap exclusively reported deal was off in February

Last Updated: March 10, 2017 @ 7:26 AM

Following TheWrap’s exclusive in report in late February, Dick Clark Productions owner Eldridge Industries has formally announced that its sale to China’s Dalian Wanda Group is dead.

The Todd Boehly-owned group — which produces the Golden Globe Awards — released a statement Friday saying Wanda “had agreed to acquire Dick Clark Productions in November 2016. Eldridge’s affiliate terminated the agreement this week after Wanda failed to honor its contractual obligations.”

A rep for Dalian Wanda was not immediately reachable for comment.

Insiders told TheWrap that issues with getting currency out of China and passing muster with the country’s regulators doomed the deal, which would have given China ownership of the company that produces television staples including the Globes and American Music Awards among other franchises.

Wanda, owned by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has been one of the most aggressive buyers, scooping up “Kong: Skull Island” production company Legendary Pictures last January. The company also owns AMC Theatres and several other chains, making it the world’s largest exhibitor.

After a Wild West period in the Chinese stock market marred by wild speculation and rollercoaster price swings, the country’s regulators have applied significantly more scrutiny to its public markets and major cross-border deals.

Though increased scrutiny eventually created a somewhat more stable situation for traders, some major China-Hollywood deals have been caught in the crosshairs. After Wanda acquired Legendary last year, the conglomerate tried to fold the entity that owned the production company into its publicly-traded theater chain, Wanda Cinema Line.

However, Shenzhen Stock Exchange regulators nixed those plans, expressing concern about the dozens of entities with ownership and Legendary’s lack of profitability. Legendary CEO Thomas Tull exited the company in January.