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September 28, 2016

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Wanda in talks to buy producer of Golden Globes

CHINESE conglomerate Wanda is considering ramping up its push into Hollywood with the acquisition of the production company behind the Golden Globes, the US company said.

Eldridge Industries, which controls Dick Clark Productions, said discussions to sell the company to Wanda were part of a move to conduct a “strategic review” of its media holdings.

“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,” Eldridge said in a statement.

Although it did not disclose financial aspects of the talks, reports in The Wall Street Journal and the Hollywood Reporter said the price discussed could be a billion dollars or so.

The Journal and Reporter cited unnamed sources.

Owned by one of the country’s richest men, billionaire Wang Jianlin, Wanda is seeking to shift its focus from property to services and entertainment as profits wane in China’s real estate sector.

Wanda would be a main contender for Dick Clark Productions, which bills itself on its website as “the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programing.”

The company’s productions include the American Music Awards, the Miss America beauty pageant, Billboard Music Awards, and the Golden Globe Awards.

The news reports stressed that talks with Wanda were at a very early stage, with a potential purchase price undetermined.

Wanda announced plans last week to invest in movies produced by Sony Pictures under an agreement that moves the company closer to its goal of becoming a major Hollywood player.

The movie deal, Wanda’s first with one of Hollywood’s so-called “Big Six” studios, was a major milestone for the conglomerate as it attempts to transform itself into a heavy-hitter in the global entertainment industry. Wanda has expanded aggressively overseas, snapping up a string of assets in Europe and the United States in recent years.


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