China's Wanda in talks to buy Hollywood's Dick Clark Productions
By Liana B. Baker
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Chinese property-to-entertainment conglomerate Dalian Wanda is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Dick Clark Productions, the company that runs the Golden Globe awards and Miss America pageants, as it expands a growing Hollywood portfolio.
Run by China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as "Jurassic World" - which was the biggest U.S.-China movie deal when it was sealed in January. It also owns U.S. cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC.N: Quote).
A source familiar with deal said Wanda was looking to bid $1 billion for the TV production company, but cautioned the deal was not yet certain. The person could not be named as the deal value is not public.
"Dick Clark Productions and Beijing Wanda Culture Industry Group Co., Ltd., have agreed to enter into exclusive talks with the shared goal of finalizing a mutually satisfactory transaction," a spokesman for Eldridge Industries, the owner of Dick Clark Productions, said in an emailed statement.
He declined to comment on the deal value.
Wanda declined to comment on Tuesday.
Last month, however, Wang told Reuters he expected to seal two billion-dollar deals in the U.S. this year. He aims to bring Hollywood technology and muscle to China, and has expressed interest in the so-called "big six" Hollywood studios.
"Only the six are real global film companies, while the rest are not. If we are to build a real movie empire, this is a necessary step," Wang said then. Continued...