×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China’s Wanda Omits Legendary From Film Business Consolidation

Stock market-listed Wanda Film Holdings is to buy up Wanda Media in the latest reshuffle of businesses within the Dalian Wanda property-to-entertainment giant.

Wanda Film’s shares are suspended from trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and the company says it needs a month to undertake the restructuring. The company says it will reveal details of the  restructuring on Aug. 3 and that the shares should return to active trading within a month.

No details of the valuation of the Wanda Media business was provided in a brief regulatory heads-up. But it appears that Legendary Entertainment will not be part of the reorganization that the company says could result in a new share offering.

Dalian Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin has told investors that Legendary will not be listed in China. That position was reiterated by Wanda sources to Variety.

Legendary was acquired by Wanda for a figure that the company reported at the time as being up to $3.5 billion. But huge annual losses at the studio have caused problems. Wanda’s previous plans to consolidate its film businesses were halted in spring of last year, when regulators halted a refinancing scheme.

Since then Legendary has enjoyed box office success in China with “The Great Wall,” “Warcraft,” and “Kong: Skull Island.” But those same titles were disappointments on the international scene. Legendary founder Thomas Tull exited the company earlier this  year, followed at the end of May by Peter Loehr, CEO of Legendary East, an offshoot intended to produce Chinese-themed blockbusters for a world audience. Legendary is currently being operated by senior Wanda executive Jack Gao in an interim capacity, along with Mary Parent.

On Monday, Dalian Wanda sprung a major surprise when it announced that it would sell off its theme park businesses and a selection of its hotels in a $9 billion deal with fellow property developer Sunac China.

Wanda has become one of the most powerful companies in the global movie industry through high-profile acquisitions in the exhibition sector, where it has acquired AMC and Carmike in North America, Hoyts in Australia and Odeon-UCI and Nordic Cinema in Europe.

Additionally, it has invested in individual Hollywood titles and was a corporate bidder when Paramount Pictures was temporarily put on the auction block. While that takeover bid was thwarted by changing strategies within Paramount’s parent Viacom, its $1 billion offer for Golden Globes producer Dick Clark Productions was upended by changing regulations within China.

Financial regulators in China last month revealed that they asked state-controlled banks to look into their lending patterns towards Wanda and a handful of other conglomerates whose recent growth has been propelled by large overseas acquisitions.

More Biz

  • Gerrit Meier Variety Strictly Business Podcast

    Listen: Red Bull Practically Invented Branded Entertainment. What's Next?

    With memorable moves like sponsoring Felix Baumgartner’s jump from outer space in 2012 to achieve the world’s farthest ever-parachute drop, Red Bull has been a pioneering force in branded entertainment. While known best for its line of energy drinks, the beverage maker has eschewed traditional marketing for content that blurred the boundaries between advertising and [...]

  • Martin Bandier to Be Honored at

    Martin Bandier to Be Honored at Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony

    Martin Bandier, outgoing chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, will be awarded the Visionary Leadership Award at the 50 th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Dinner. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 13 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. According to the announcement, the Visionary Leadership Award “acknowledges a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Board [...]

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content