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Six Flags is motivating possible sale of Dick Clark Productions

June 15, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • The Golden Globe Awards are key to Dick Clark Productions.
The Golden Globe Awards are key to Dick Clark Productions. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

Motivating the potential sale of Dick Clark Productions is the desire of Six Flags Inc. to cash out of its 40% stake in the television company.

Six Flags no longer views Dick Clark Productions (DCP) as core to the rest of its theme park business, a person with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak publically said.

Six Flags acquired the stake when it was still being run by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, whose Red Zone Capital is the majority owner of DCP.

Red Zone could attempt to buy the stake, but that scenario is highly unlikely, an insider said, noting that Six Flags wants to shop the property and create a bidding war. Red Zone retained the WME-backed boutique investment bank Raine to explore options.

DCP properties include Golden Globe Awards, "So You Think You Can Dance," the American Music Awards and "New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest."

Although media speculation about the future of DCP is growing, the company and its banker are not going to be asking for indications of interest from potential suitors for at least two weeks. There have been no bids nor talks with any would-be buyers yet, the insider said.

There is also a possibility that there will be no sale. A price tag of $400 million is already being floated. That would be more than twice what Red Zone paid for DCP in 2007 and may scare off some potential buyers.

As previous reported by Company Town, one likely suitor is Core Media Group, which previously was known as CKX and is a producer of "So You Think You Can Dance." Core is headed by former NBC executive Marc Graboff, who also has intimate knowledge of the finances of the Golden Globes since he negotiated the rights for the show when he was at the peacock network. Core also owns 19 Entertainment, a producer of Fox's"American Idol."

Another name being floated is Ryan Seacrest, the TV personality and producer who has long ties to DCP and its late founder Dick Clark. Seacrest already has a growing media empire and is also a partner in AXS, the cable channel that Mark Cuban is launching in partnership with entertainment and sports giant AEG. Seacrest is interested in at least taking a look at DCP, a person close to him said.

One potential cloud over DCP was removed last month when a federal court in Los Angeles found that it controlled television rights to the Golden Globes, the company's biggest franchise. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which created the show, is appealing that decision.

RELATED:

Dick Clark Productions exploring possible sale

Mark Shapiro and the art of negotiation

Dick Clark Productions wins Globes fight


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