Back in November, we reported on billionaire Wang Jianlin's $1 billion bid to buy the iconic American production company Dick Clark Productions. Today, just four months later, that deal is dead.
Dick Clark Productions is currently owned by Eldridge Industries. Eldridge killed the deal after Jianlin's Dalian Wanda Group did not honor the contractual obligations that had been laid out.
The deal was expected to close in February and would have marked Jianlin's first move into television production. Dick Clark Productions produces several award shows including the Golden Globe Awards and American Music Awards. Wang Jianlin has put together an entertainment and sports empire designed to compete directly with the U.S. entertainment industry. In 2012, Jianlin bought AMC Theatres for $2.6 billion. In 2016, he acquired Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion and opened a theme park to rival Disneyland and Disney World. Dick Clark Productions was to be the next step in his Hollywood takeover.
Eldridge Industries considered extending the deal's deadline to the end of March, but the Wanda group was either unable or unwilling to provide reasonable parameters for the extension.
It's no secret that Wang Jianlin wants to be a Hollywood power player. In September, he told CNN that he wanted to purchase one of the major Hollywood studios. In January, he spoke at a conference in Europe and admitted that if Sony, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, or Disney was looking for a new owner, he would be a "happy buyer."
However, the breakdown in the Dick Clark deal may be due to the Chinese government's crackdown on investments made outside of the country. China has spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to keep money from flowing outside of their country. As a result, the government has placed restrictions on overseas investments and acquisitions. This policy has been in place in November and targets investments made outside of the investor's core business.