DICK CLARK PRODUCTIONS Sale to China Dead…
Currency wars and Chinese regulatory issues plagued billion-dollar sale
Dalian Wanda’s $1 billion purchase of Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions is dead, two individuals familiar with the matter told TheWrap.
The deal has fallen apart over problems getting currency out of China — and passing regulatory muster with the Chinese state, the insiders said.
Speculation that Donald Trump’s administration would not approve the deal was not the primary reason for its breakdown, according to both individuals.
Top brass at DCP owner Eldridge Industries still expect the deal to close, however, one insider close to the Todd Boehly-owned company said.
Eldridge Industries declined to comment on the matter. Representatives for Wanda did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.
“The Chinese government now has a system in place for evaluating the price being paid,” one of the insiders said of the eyebrow-raising valuation of DCP.
“It was just too high,” the person said, adding that the real reason DCP won’t be leaving its home country is over currency controls.
In early February, TheWrap reported the sale was in jeopardy and that Wanda had not made a final payment to close the acquisition — though an insider at Eldridge Industries told TheWrap all parties expected payment to go through.
Chinese regulators have taken a stricter approach to the country’s stock markets in recent months after a Wild West period marred by wild speculation and rollercoaster price swings.
Though increased scrutiny eventually created a somewhat more stable situation for traders, some big cross-border Hollywood deals have been tripped up. Wanda acquired Legendary last January and tried to fold the entity that owned the production company into its publicly-traded theater chain, Wanda Cinema Line, but Shenzhen Stock Exchange regulators put the kibosh on that, expressing concern about the dozens of entities with ownership and Legendary’s lack of profitability.
Wanda abandoned that attempt in August. News of the defunct deal comes at a time when Eldridge Industries is also attempting to offload its pricey prestige holding The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard.
Sharon Waxman contributed to this report.