Wanda buys Dick Clark Productions for US$1 billion
After storming into film, real estate giant turns its attention to TV, snapping up the firm that owns the rights to over 20 top-billing event shows, including the Golden Globes
Dalian Wanda Group has made a further foray into show business after acquiring the well-known TV production firm Dick Clark Productions, for about US$1 billion.
The 100 per cent purchase has surprised many, as the company had been expected to be only looking to take a controlling stake in the firm.
The takeover marks a major step forward in expanding Wanda’s growing presence in the entertainment industry, and while it already owns numerous movie interests, this is the Chinese real estate-entertainment conglomerate’s first move into TV production.
Dick Clark Productions was founded in 1957 by the late television personality and his long-time business partner.
The company has the rights to over 20 top-billing TV event shows including the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, and the New Year’s countdown celebrations in New York.
The majority of those rights are for an indefinite period and it has long-term agreements with all the major TV stations.
“The acquisition of DCP marks Wanda’s first step into television content, occupying the highest-end global TV programme resources from the start,” Wanda said in a statement.
“Obtaining top television production rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda’s current focuses on the film, tourism, and sports industries.”
The deal follows Wanda’s failed pursuit this year of a 49 per cent stake in movie studio Paramount Pictures, which is owned by Viacom Inc.
It already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as “Jurassic World”, and AMC Entertainment Holdings, the second largest movie-theater in the US, which it bought in 2012 for about US$2.6 billion.
Its has also agreed to buy Europe’s largest cinema chain, Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group for US$650 million and is seeking to acquire the Carmike Cinemas chain, which would make it the largest operator in the US.
In September Wanda said it would market Sony Pictures’ films, and co-finance upcoming releases of Sony Corp’s film unit in China, through its ticketing platform and entertainment venues.