Todd Boehly is hoping some of the various media properties he couldn’t find buyers for will fare better as one combined entity.
Live-event producer Dick Clark Prods. and entertainment-news provider Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, which were nearly snatched up by Dalian Wanda Group last year, are joining forces with another Boehly investment, TV/film producer Media Rights Capital, to form Valence Media.
But the point of the newly configured group is not to cut costs or better set up the properties for sale, according to Modi Wiczyk, who will extend his oversight to all of Valence along with fellow MRC co-founder Asif Satchu.
Wiczyk envisions the three companies within Valence as just the first steps toward growing into a larger business through acquisitions and building new properties in-house.
“What we have a as a foundation from day one is expertise and relationships across film, scripted TV, live events and digital media,” Wiczyk told Variety. “That’s a great base to build from.”
Valence is where Boehly is parking all of the investments in the media vertical of his holding company Eldridge Industries, which continues to place bets across other sectors ranging from real estate to insurance, including a stake in MLB’s Dodgers franchise in Los Angeles.
A minority stake in a fourth property, film distributor A24, will also be tucked into Valence, but operate independently. Media buying giant WPP will see its investment in MRC carry over into Valence.
Boehly’s move comes nearly a year after the disintegration of a $1 billion sale of DCP to Wanda, which suddenly pulled out at the 11th hour before the acquisition could be completed. DCP is best known as the producer of the Golden Globes, which is currently the subject of negotiations with NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. that will determine its future TV home.
In a press release announcing the launch of Valence, the company pegs the enterprise value of Valence at $3 billion. But DCP alone is understood to be valued at $700 million in addition to debt under the terms of the Wanda deal.
Allen Shapiro will become executive chairman at DCP while Mike Mahan will become CEO. Shapiro previously served as CEO while Mahan was president.
Boehly will serve as chairman of Valence. Its businesses will continue to be operated by their current management teams, which will report into Wiczyk and Satchu, who will continue to oversee MRC.
The production company has a broad range of TV and film properties including “House of Cards,” the Netflix series that has been embroiled in controversy stemming from allegations confronting its former star, Kevin Spacey. Production resumed this week on a final season of the series.
Valence is also hoping that bringing the businesses together will yield more collaboration between them, such as cross-platform opportunities for marketers looking to scale their buys across properties that didn’t coordinate ad sales previously.
While Wiczyk touted the synergies that could be achieved by more tightly integrating operations of the various businesses contained within Valence, he said the editorial independence of the publications within the Billboard-THR unit would be preserved.
“The integrity of editorial is of paramount importance and must be protected assiduously,” said Wiczyk. “We will be looking at best practices at companies like Disney, which has ABC, and plenty of media companies where there are holding companies that create productions in some way or another.”
Billboard-THR has been on Boehly’s books since 2009, when he purchased the publications while president of private-equity giant Guggenheim Partners. He took the news brands with him when he left Guggenheim and started Eldridge.
The move to launch Valence had been anticipated since word filtered out last December during the Christmas holiday season that the formation of the new entity was afoot. Goldman Sachs, Moelis & Co. and RBC, which had been lining up buyers for the properties, shepherded the Valence transaction.