The early November pact is now expected to close in a matter of weeks as the companies grapple with controls that China’s Commerce Ministry imposed late last year on overseas deals of $1 billion or more.
Former Guggenheim Partners president Todd Boehly’s Eldridge Industries controls DCP, which produces the Golden Globes, the Billboard Music Awards, the American Music Awards, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest and other special events.
Officials in Beijing fear that the country’s capital reserves will become depleted if companies use their cash to buy overseas properties as the value of the yuan declines vs the U.S. dollar. Last year the yuan depreciated 7% to its lowest exchange rate in eight years against the strengthening dollar.
Among other things, officials in Beijing ordered several major banks to cut back on letters of credit.
Wanda is one of China’s most active buyers of overseas assets, especially in entertainment. In addition to the Dick Clark deal, last year it paid $3.5 billion for Legendary Entertainment while Wanda-controlled AMC Entertainment became the world’s biggest exhibition chain with a $1.1 billion acquisition of Carmike Cinemas and a $1.2 billion one for UK’s Odeon & UCI Cinemas. Last month it agreed to pay $929 million for Nordic Cinema Group.
At last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin said his company had earmarked $5 billion-$10 billion per year for overseas investment with the U.S. the top priority.
Meanwhile, Wanda’s main real estate businesses in China has slowed. Revenues from Commercial Properties fell 25% last year to the equivalent of $20.8 billion. The entire company was up 3.4% to $37.1 billion.