Two Film Executives Step Down From China’s Dalian Wanda Group



Dalian Wanda

Two top executives in the film division at China’s Dalian Wanda Group reportedly resigned this week.
Wang Jianlin’s company accepted resignations from Wanda Films General Manager Jiang Defu, who ran the local-language production unit, and Que Wenxion, who oversaw the local release engine Wuzhou Film Distribution, according to Bloomberg via THR.
In a symbolic but significant move, a Tuesday financial filing said that Wanda executive Lincoln Zhang had resigned from the board of one of its portfolio companies — U.S. based AMC Theatres.
The theatrical giant will name a replacement to his seat shortly, the report said. Wanda’s Zeng Maojun remains on the board.
A China-based spokesperson from Wanda did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.
While the company made an aggressive, splashy entrance into Hollywood at the end of 2016, joint production efforts between the U.S.  have been sluggish as the American box office continues to rely on that market.
In February, Jack Ma’s Alibaba took a 7.66 percent stake in Wanda for 4.68 billion yuan. China’s government-backed Beijing Cultural Investment also ponied up 3.12 billion yuan for a 5.11 stake.
Wanda’s American acquisition Legendary Entertainment is currently in post-production on the sequel “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”

Chinese companies such as Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group have spent much of the last few years agreeing to acquire American firms (including several major Hollywood players) at eye-popping prices, but getting those deals across the finish line has been easier said than done.
Here are a few recent proposed mega-deals that didn’t happen as intended:
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Dalian Wanda Group fails to close purchase of Dick Clark Productions
Chinese conglomerate Wanda agreed to pay $1 billion for the Golden Globes producer last year. But the deal is not going to close, TheWrap has learned, as Chinese regulators will not approve both the price paid and the amount of cash that would leave the country.
Dick Clark Productions/Wanda Group

Wanda is unable to take Legendary Entertainment public, CEO Thomas Tull exits
Last January, Wanda agreed to shell out $3.5 billion for “Jurassic World” production company Legendary. But regulators frowned on Legendary’s lack of profitability and complex ownership structure when Wanda tried to fold it into its publicly-traded Wanda Cinema Line, which would have given Legendary CEO Thomas Tull a liquidity event. Tull couldn’t cash out and left the company last month.
Legendary/Wanda Group

Anhui Xinke New Materials backs out of deal to acquire Voltage Pictures
Chinese copper company Anhui Xinke agreed to diversify its holdings by spending $350 million on “The Hurt Locker” production company, but pulled out of the deal in December after failing to secure the documentation required by increasingly scrutinous Chinese regulators.
Voltage Pictures

Wanda’s prospective Paramount investment is taken off the table
One of former Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s last moves in charge was obtaining an offer from Wanda to acquire 49 percent of Paramount Pictures for as much as $5 billion. But when Dauman lost a power struggle with the Redstone family (which owns the majority of Viacom’s stock) and was ousted in August, that deal died too.
TheWrap

Conglomerate of Chinese buyers fails to seal deal for mobile browser company Opera Software
A handful of Chinese entities seeking to purchase the Norwegian software firm canceled their planned acquisition in July after failing to get government approval in a timely manner.
Opera

Anbang Insurance Group walks away from deal to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts
In March, the Chinese insurance giant abandoned a deal to acquire the hotel operator for nearly $14 million in cash citing “market considerations,” although insiders placed much of the blame on regulatory issues, particularly one limiting the size of foreign transactions to 15 percent of a company’s market cap.
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Huayi Bros. fails to come to terms on investment in Studio8
In 2014, Chinese media company Huayi Bros. was unable to consummate an investment in former Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov’s Studio8. Later that year, Fosun, a different Chinese company, backed Studio8, which has co-financed just two films since.
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Chinese companies have brought a firehose of cash to the U.S. in recent years, but several high-profile deals didn’t come to fruition

Chinese companies such as Wang Jianlin’s Dalian Wanda Group have spent much of the last few years agreeing to acquire American firms (including several major Hollywood players) at eye-popping prices, but getting those deals across the finish line has been easier said than done.
Here are a few recent proposed mega-deals that didn’t happen as intended:

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