Dalian Wanda to buy Dick Clark Productions for $1 bn

Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda Group, controlled by billionaire Wang Jianlin, today struck a deal to buy Golden Globe Awards producer Dick Clark Productions Inc for $1 billion, in order to expand its interest in Hollywood-related deals.

Dick Clark Productions, owned by Eldridge Industries, had earlier this year said that it had hired bankers to conduct a strategic review and had invited investors including Chinese companies to buy a stake in the company.

"Obtaining top television production rights brings about complementary and coordinated development for Wanda's current focuses on the film, tourism and sports industries," Wanda said in the statement.

The acquisition will see Wanda making its first entry into television production.

Founded by entertainer Dick Clark in 1957, Dick Clark Productions is the world's largest producer and owner of televised live event entertainment programming.

The Santa Monica, California-based studio has produced a number of television shows, including the Academy of Country Music Awards, American Country Countdown Awards, American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Hollywood Film Awards and the Streamy Awards.

Its weekly television programming includes So You Think You Can Dance, and World's Funniest.

It also has a vast library of archives including performances by Madonna, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, the Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, among others.

Dalian Wanda has recently been aggressively spending on projects and acquisitions ranging from entertainment to financial services in a bid to diversify away from its core, but slowing, domestic real estate operations.

Wang, whose sprawling business ranges from property to malls, entertainment and finance, recently acquired Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment for $3.5 billion in cash, and splurged $2.6 billion in 2012 in buying Missouri-based AMC Entertainment in order to create the world's biggest cinema chain.

Wanda's AMC Entertainment has also recently agreed to buy Carmike Cinemas Inc, a deal that would make Wanda the biggest movie-theater chain owner in the US. It is also buying Odeon & UCI Cinemas in the UK.

Beijing-based Wanda Group is the largest operator of theatres in China with a portfolio that includes over 400 theatres and over 6,000 screens as well as large-scale stage show, film production and distribution, entertainment chains and Chinese calligraphy and painting collections.

The group operates five major businesses, including commercial properties, luxury hotels, tourism investment, cultural industries and department stores. It operates 125 Wanda Plazas, 81 hotels, including 68 five-star hotels, and 99 department stores nationwide.