×
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

  • Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for

    Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for New Studio Album

    Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. The still-untitled album, Wainwright’s ninth of original material and first since 2012, is described in the announcement as “a return to form and his most accessible album to date.” To that end, it is “the bookend” to [...]

  • Kevin Feige Marvel Studios Variety Cover

    Kevin Feige Named Chief Creative Officer of Marvel

    Kevin Feige’s universe continues to grow. The mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been named Chief Creative Officer, Marvel in addition to being president of Marvel Studios, Variety has learned. He will now be responsible for the overall creative direction of Marvel’s storytelling across mediums, including publishing, film, TV, and animation. Marvel Television and [...]

  • China presentation mipcom

    Reality Shows, Rom-Coms and Ping Pong Dramas: Chinese Producers Show Off TV Exports

    At its best, television serves as a mirror for its audience. This year, the Mipcom conference trained its annual country-of-focus spotlight on original TV content produced in China. That proved to be a timely choice as the conference came on the heels of last week’s headline-making clashes between Chinese and Western cultural values in the [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Reports to Federal Prison to Serve Two-Week Sentence

    Felicity Huffman reported to federal prison in Dublin, Calif., on Tuesday morning to begin her two-week sentence for paying to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test. Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, admitting that she paid $15,000 to consultant Rick Singer to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Idira Talwani sentenced her last [...]

  • Sallie Krawcheck

    Sallie Krawcheck's Ellevest Launches Women-Focused Impact Investment Platform

    Ellevest, the female-focused investment platform headed by Sallie Krawcheck, has launched an impact investment fund that will court high-net-worth women in entertainment and other sectors who want to tailor their stock portfolios to favor companies with good track records on a range of social concerns. Krawcheck, who was one of the highest-ranking women on Wall [...]

  • LeEco founder Jia Yueting

    LeEco Founder Jia Yueting Files for Bankruptcy in the U.S.

    Jia Yueting, the colorful Chinese entrepreneur who founded the LeEco electronics-to-video streaming group, has filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Jia, sometimes known as YT, has debts on both sides of the Pacific and has been in the U.S. from late 2017, in defiance of an order from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to return [...]

  • Lakers NBA China Criticism

    From the NBA to 'South Park,' China Refuses to Play Ball With Its Critics

    The Oct. 12 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets in the Chinese city of Shenzhen might have seemed like business as usual, with thousands of basketball fans out in force for the rare opportunity to see their beloved NBA teams compete live. But below the surface, tensions were high at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content