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AFP: China's Wanda Group buys US filmmaker Legendary for $3.5 bn


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http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-wanda-group-buys-us-filmmaker-legendary-3-025149913.html

China's Wanda Group buys US filmmaker Legendary for $3.5 bn

 

Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group signed a deal in Beijing on Tuesday to buy US film studio Legendary Entertainment, the maker of blockbusters Jurassic World and Godzilla, for $3.5 billion.

 

The agreement was "China’s largest cross-border cultural acquisition to date", said the Chinese firm, which is headed by the country's richest man Wang Jianlin.

 

"American movie companies have the commanding heights of the movie industry in the world," Wang told reporters at the signing ceremony, adding the acquisition will "change this situation".

 

"I believe it's a miracle for a Chinese company to acquire such a big and heavy American company," Wang added.

 

But he denied that the deal -- which comes weeks after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba bought Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper -- was intended to increase Beijing's cultural influence.

 

"Government soft power belongs to another sphere," he said at the briefing, where he and Legendary chairman and CEO Thomas Tull watched lawyers sign the agreement. "I mainly focus on business interests."

 

Legendary's film productions have grossed more than $12 billion worldwide at the box office, according to a Wanda statement. The company's projects -- which have also included Pacific Rim and the latest Batman trilogy -- are mostly the big-budget action spectaculars popular with Chinese audiences.

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-wanda-buys-legendary-entertainment-20160111-story.html

The agreement will leave Thomas Tull, the head of Legendary Entertainment, in place. Tull said that Wanda would not exercise any control over Legendary's creative content.

 

“All we know how to do is make things that we want to see — whether that's giant robots versus giant monsters, or whatever we want it to be, and our fans in China have liked it,” Tull said. “Nothing will change on that front. That's something that Wanda has been incredibly specific about.”

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It's funny. I wonder how much their assets are worth. "Lengendary" is certainly a name I recognize as a movie studio. I think it's one of the more productive studios, but is it an elite one? I don't think it's what 20th Century Fox or Metro Goldwyn Meyer were back in the day. The Jurassic series is certainly worth something, the studio, equipment, and land is worth a lot, but do they have enough IP and people on contracts? I guess the answer is probably.

 

I just wonder if this is more of a prestige buy than a good business one. After all, these days people get much more excited by the producer, director, and actor than the studio... and I suspect it's the former who wields a lot of the power and influence.

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That's one of the things that occurred to me.

Disney paid roughly the same price, for Lucasfilm. We all know Lucasfilm owned something that was worth a lot. Does Legendary actually OWN anything comparable?

Or did they just pull a Snyder, and overpay for a FA with a name?

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I think the Chinese should be holding onto their cash right now

On the other hand, it's been a favorite strategy to move money into more stable economies when things are looking bad in your own. I remember Cold War stories about how Soviet Block citizens would work the black markets to try to get dollars because they were afraid their own currency wouldn't be worth anything. It happens on the large scale too.

 

Still not certain this is a good investment though. It's a big statement, however.

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Yah, corporate bonds or Fortune 500 equities. Not movie studios

Or Powerball tickets.

But it's a good point. People don't buy movie studios because they're trying to protect their money from risk.

They've been buying Treasuries, for decades.

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I suppose owning a movie studio would be an awesome toy to own though. A lot of our billionaires buy sports franchises, some of which even lose money, but the prestige of owning it and the fun of having that kind of toy is pretty cool.

 

Could be that too.

 

Still, the simplest answer is probably the best. It's great to have a good tool for propaganda and influencing folks. It ain't about money. It's about the statement.

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It's funny. I wonder how much their assets are worth. "Lengendary" is certainly a name I recognize as a movie studio

 

Didn't the Japanese do this in the 1980's.   They bought a movie studio which was pretty successful only to find out the Movie business isn't about the real state it's about the creative people and the projects you've got in the pipeline.

 

As I remember the folks who sold to the Japanese in the 1980's were portrayed as taking money from children as they just set up shop across the street and pretty much continued their business having just sold some realistate for about 20x what it was actually worth...

 

Folks go to see movie titles,  they don't go to see films based up which studio made it.

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Didn't the Japanese do this in the 1980's.   They bought a movie studio which was pretty successful only to find out the Movie business isn't about the real state it's about the creative people and the projects you've got in the pipeline.

 

As I remember the folks who sold to the Japanese in the 1980's were portrayed as taking money from children as they just set up shop across the street and pretty much continued their business having just sold some realistate for about 20x what it was actually worth...

 

Folks go to see movie titles,  they don't go to see films based up which studio made it.

That feels right. I think the only difference is the intellectual  property owned by the study. For example, Disney's studios are only worth so much, but Marvel, Muppets, Star Wars, and the classic characters are worth a fortune. If Legendary owns the rights to Godzilla and Jurassic and no one else can touch them that has some value... though I think the last couple Godzilla reboots were modest successes or flops.

 

Still, the land, equipment and contracts have value. The IPs have a lot of value. The name... not necessarily so much. Few audience buy tickets because of the production company. It's usually the actor, director, or film brand.

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Agreed that the big asset is probably IP. 

 

Disney didn't buy Lucasfilm because they needed sound stages.  They bought Star Wars. 

 

Having said that, does Legendary own Jurassic?  Somehow I would assume that it's either Spielberg or Crichton that does.  (Just because I have trouble imagining Spielberg selling his property to a movie studio.) 

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On the other hand, it's been a favorite strategy to move money into more stable economies when things are looking bad in your own. I remember Cold War stories about how Soviet Block citizens would work the black markets to try to get dollars because they were afraid their own currency wouldn't be worth anything. It happens on the large scale too.

 

Still not certain this is a good investment though. It's a big statement, however.

That's the argument economists make about the huge trade imbalance with first Japan and now China. You know China sends products over here for sale, and we send dollars over there which goes into their bank accounts and they call it "trade". Economists say all that money has to eventually come back to United States in order for it to get full value. Nobody in the world will redeme dollars with the value the US will.

And so these huge purchases of American assets like real estate, companies, stocks, and what have you; are the natural byproduct of the trade imbalance. It's one way the money comes back to our shores.

Let's hope we have 10 more studio's to sell them... a month.

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Agreed that the big asset is probably IP. 

 

Disney didn't buy Lucasfilm because they needed sound stages.  They bought Star Wars. 

 

Having said that, does Legendary own Jurassic?  Somehow I would assume that it's either Spielberg or Crichton that does.  (Just because I have trouble imagining Spielberg selling his property to a movie studio.) 

Legendary is making the Warcraft movie if that means anything.

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Agreed that the big asset is probably IP. 

 

Disney didn't buy Lucasfilm because they needed sound stages.  They bought Star Wars. 

 

Having said that, does Legendary own Jurassic?  Somehow I would assume that it's either Spielberg or Crichton that does.  (Just because I have trouble imagining Spielberg selling his property to a movie studio.) 

I really don't know. They might own it in part though. Have no idea.

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/matthewzeitlin/chinese-company-buys-grindr-but-can-a-us-hook-up-app-conquer#.jgBdZZkJo

Chinese Company Buys Grindr, But Can A U.S. Hookup App Conquer China?

 

On Monday night, two businesses that have done much to keep Americans entertained in recent years were bought by Chinese companies: the popular gay hookup app Grindr, and Legendary Entertainment, the film studio behind hits like the latest Batman trilogy and Jurassic World.

 

Legendary was acquired for $3.5 billion by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda, which also owns the AMC theater chain. Grindr was bought by gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech, which picked up a 60% stake in the company in a deal that valued it at $155 million.

 

Grindr has been up for sale for some time, and hired a financial advisor in 2015 as it received expressions of interest; the company has never raised money from outside investors and was entirely owned by its founder, Joel Simkhai, and its employees. The app was launched in 2009 and claims to have about 2 million daily users spread across 190 countries.

 

The company has reported revenue of about $32 million in 2014, up by 29% over 2013.

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/business/dealbook/amc-deal-for-carmike-would-create-biggest-us-theater-chain.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=0

AMC Deal for Carmike Would Create Biggest U.S. Theater Chain

 

In a significant consolidation of movie theater holdings, AMC Entertainment will acquire Carmike Cinemas for about $737 million in cash, forming the country’s largest chain with more than 600 theaters, the companies said on Thursday.

 

Under the terms of the deal, AMC will pay $30 a share, up 19 percent from Carmike’s closing price on Thursday. Including the assumption of Carmike’s debt, the transaction is valued at about $1.1 billion.

 

The deal is the biggest by AMC since it returned to the public markets in a 2013 stock sale. And it represents a bold effort by AMC’s controlling investor, Wang Jianlin of China’s Dalian Wanda Group, to consolidate the American cinema industry.

 

Dalian Wanda agreed in January to buy Legendary Entertainment, a film production and finance company, for about $3.5 billion. It bought AMC in 2012 for about $2.6 billion, and is building a large commercial and residential complex in Beverly Hills, Calif., adjacent to the Beverly Hilton hotel, where the Golden Globes and other Hollywood events take place.

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