Los Angeles Business Journal

Dick Clark Production’s $1 Billion Dalian Wanda Deal Fails

By Diane Haithman Friday, March 10, 2017

Eldridge Industries’ much ballyhooed $1 billion deal to sell Dick Clark Productions to China’s Dalian Wanda Group is off.

The deal would have given the Chinese conglomerate ownership of the powerful Dick Clark entertainment franchise, which produces the Golden Globes, the American Music Awards, and the annual Miss America pageant, among many other ventures. Dalian Wanda Group could not be reached for comment Friday.

“Eldridge Industries announced today that one of its affiliates has terminated its agreement to sell Dick Clark Productions to the Dalian Wanda Group,” the Todd Boehly-owned company said in a statement. “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.”

The failed agreement is one of several Hollywood-China deals that have recently ended or are reportedly falling apart. A Los Angeles mergers and acquisitions adviser familiar with Chinese companies, and who asked not to be named, said in an e-mail that such deals are hitting snags because of a Chinese “government mandate to slow down and restrict the outflow of capital from China to overseas.”

In November, Chinese company Anhui Xinke New Materials announced it would buy 80 percent of Voltage Pictures, producer of “The Hurt Locker” and “The Dallas Buyers Club,” for a reported $345 million, but that deal collapsed in December, with Xinke reportedly alleging that Voltage had failed to provide adequate documentation to Chinese regulators.

Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter credited anonymous sources confirming that Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures has yet to receive the first payment from its announced billion-dollar deal with Chinese partners Shanghai Group and Hua Hua Media to co-finance its movies for the next three years.

According to the statement, Eldridge’s affiliate has filed with the Delaware Chancery Court to compel release of the balance of escrowed funds to which it is contractually entitled given Wanda’s failure to consummate the sale.

Contact media and entertainment reporter Diane Haithman at dhaithman@labusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @dhaithman for the latest in L.A. business news.