Partners look to 'energize fans'
Guggenheim Partners, Peter Guber’s Mandalay Entertainment and Mosaic Media have clinched a $370 million deal to buy Dick Clark Prods., insisting that international and untapped potential makes it worth the price after some other suitors shied away.Deal includes the assumption of $165 million of debt. “I think the price that someone is comfortable paying is what they see being able to do with the asset, and the collection of resources that we have,” said Todd Boehly, president of Guggenheim, lead investor with a growing stable of entertainment properties including the Los Angeles Dodgers. He told Variety that DCP gives Guggenheim a welcome foothold in production. Mandalay and Mosaic know the asset well since they were the largest shareholders in DCP before selling it to RedZone in 2008. And all the partners have a history together: Guber was in the consortium that acquired the Dodgers. The iconic Clark died in April of a heart attack at age 82. With the business up for sale, potential bidders including CBS Corp. and Ryan Seacrest’s company were said to have balked at the price. Dick Clark Prods., an independent TV producer was launched in 1957 and mostly puts out such kudocasts as “The Golden Globe Awards,” “The American Music Awards,” “The Academy of Country Music Awards” and specs like “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” It also has Simon Fuller’s reality show “So You Think You Can Dance.” New owners will need to invest in refreshing and growing the brand and seem willing to do so. “Peter and I left with unfulfilled ambitions,” said Allen Shapiro, Mosaic’s managing partner, such as going global and launching more shows with top talent like Fuller. “The media business is global. Brands think global and Guggenheim has been acquiring companies with global reach. Global expansion of DCP assets with brand partnerships is one thing we will focus on.” Shapiro will take over running the day-to-day operations of DCP when the deal closes in four to six weeks. Current CEO Mark Shapiro, who happens to be his cousin, will step down. “We expect there will be other opportunities for us to buy and build that will further increase the value of this portfolio,” Guber said. He said the world has changed since his last go-round with DCP in 2008 with the explosion of social media “so that you can now activate brands and audiences together.” Guggenheim advised the investors in the deal. Raine Group was exclusive financial adviser to Red Zone.