A firehose of Chinese investment has been flowing into Hollywood for the last few years, as Middle Kingdom firms have scooped up production companies and theater chains by the billion. And while D.C. has finally taken notice
-- and is asking the government to take a closer look at foreign ownership of American content companies -- Chinese firms have already accumulated a substantial portfolio of media and entertainment-related companies often at healthy premiums. And Hollywood isn’t ready to look that gift horse in the mouth.
AMC THEATRESOwner: Dalian Wanda Group
Wanda, a real estate and entertainment conglomerate owned by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, made its first Hollywood splash in 2012 when the company paid $2.6 billion for AMC Entertainment, the parent of AMC Theatres, the second-largest theater chain in the U.S.
Carmike CinemasOwner: Dalian Wanda Group
Wanda-owned AMC paid $1.2 billion to acquire Carmike Cinemas in a deal that just closed in November. The combined chain will be America’s largest theatrical exhibitor, passing former No. 1 Regal Entertainment.
Legendary EntertainmentOwner: Dalian Wanda Group
Wanda paid $3.5 billion for the “Jurassic World” production company in January, even though Legendary lost $500 million last year, according to a Chinese regulatory filing. However, plenty of Legendary’s high-octane action and fantasy flicks have been bigger hits in China than the U.S., such as “Warcraft.”
Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark ProductionsOwner:
Dalian Wanda Group
Wanda spent $1 billion to acquire the producer
of the Golden Globes, American Music Awards and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” The deal marks Wanda’s first foray into television after spending billions on the big screen.
Voltage PicturesOwner: Anhui Xinke New Materials
Anhui Xinke, a copper processing company, bought an 80 percent stake in Voltage parent Midnight Entertainment for $351 million. Voltage is the production company behind Oscar-winning films including “The Hurt Locker” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”
STX EntertainmentOwner: Hony Capital, Tencent
Independent distributor STX was founded with investments from private equity giant TPG and Chinese firm Hony Capital. The company also has a co-financing deal with China’s Huayi Bros. Media, and this year secured a strategic investment from Tencent to expand into digital content, music and virtual reality.
World Triathlon CorporationOwner: Dalian Wanda Group
Wanda paid $650 million last year for the company that organizes the Ironman Triathlon races, folding it into its new Wanda Sports division.
IM GlobalOwner: Tang Media Partners
Tang Media Partners, which has offices in Shanghai and L.A., acquired a controlling stake in Stuart Ford’s film finance firm from Indian conglomerate Reliance in June. IM Global has financed or produced more than 30 Hollywood films, including Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Chinese conglomerate Fosun is the largest shareholder
in former Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov’s production company, having invested $200 million in Studio8.
Dichotomy Creative GroupOwner:
Consumer tech company LeEco’s subsidiary Le Vision Pictures opened an L.A. office this year and hired former Paramount Pictures President Adam Goodman
to run it and oversee a slate of English-language films. As part of the deal, LeEco acquired Goodman’s production company, Dichotomy.
Cirque du SoleilOwner:
It’s a Canadian circus, not a movie or TV studio, but Cirque du Soleil operates six Vegas shows, several tours and earned $845 million in revenue in 2014. Last year, TPG and Fosun acquired a majority stake
in Cirque du Soleil for $1.5 billion.
Riot GamesOwner: Tencent
Tencent acquired a 93 percent stake in the video game publisher for $400 million in 2011 and acquired the remainder last December. Riot’s “League of Legends” is the most played PC game in the world.