Chinese billionaire in talks to buy producer of Globes

LOS ANGELES • Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin's Dalian Wanda is in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions, the closely held producer of the Golden Globe Awards, as he seeks to expand his influence in Hollywood.

Eldridge Industries, which owns Dick Clark Productions, said in an e-mailed statement on Monday that it is holding exclusive talks with Wanda.

Though Eldridge and Wanda declined to comment on the price, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the talks are valuing the production company at about US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion).

An acquisition of Dick Clark Productions, the producer of live television events such as the Golden Globes and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest, would be the latest move to further Wanda's Hollywood ambitions.

Wanda announced last week that it will market Sony Pictures' films and co-finance upcoming releases of Sony's film unit in China.

Wanda already owns Legendary Entertainment, co-producer of film hits such as Jurassic World (2015) and The Dark Knight (2008) - the biggest United States-China movie deal when it was sealed in January - and American cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings.

Earlier this year, it also showed interest in buying a stake in Paramount, the movie studio owned by Viacom Inc.

Eldridge is led by former Guggenheim Capital president Todd Boehly, whose media assets also include magazines Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. If Dick Clark Productions is sold, it would be the 59-year-old company's third sale since 2007.

Wanda's AMC is also seeking to buy Carmike Cinemas, which would create the biggest movie- theatre operator in the US. Wanda is already the biggest operator worldwide.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese billionaire in talks to buy producer of Globes'. Print Edition | Subscribe