Exclusive: Eldridge Industries hires banks to review media holdings

(Reuters) - Eldridge Industries, the U.S. owner of TV production company Dick Clark Productions and magazines Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, told Reuters on Friday that it had hired investment banks to carry out a review of its media holdings.

General view of the Billboard award backstage at the 2016 Billboard Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., May 22, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

The move comes less then a year after Eldridge Industries majority owner and Chief Executive Officer Todd Boehly left investment firm Guggenheim Partners, where he served as president, to start his own company, taking media assets such as The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard with him.

"Recently, Eldridge received unsolicited interest in one of its media assets. This led us to hire Moelis & Co MC.N and Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N to conduct a strategic review of Eldridge's media holdings," Boehly said in an emailed statement in response to a Reuters inquiry.

Boehly, who also has a personal investment in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, said the outcome of the review may include more acquisitions, strategic partnerships or divestitures. He added that the review was still ongoing and no final decisions had been made.

Earlier on Friday, sources told Reuters that Dick Clark Productions, the producer of live television events such as the Golden Globes and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” had attracted acquisition interest from other companies and investment firms.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Dick Clark Productions also produces the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. It has a deal with NBC until 2018 to air the Golden Globes in an agreement with the sponsor of the award show, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Dick Clark Productions is also a co-creator of the dance television show “So You Think You Can Dance.”

The company was founded in 1957 and named after Dick Clark, the legendary broadcaster who hosted the music show “American Bandstand” for 30 years and died in 2012.

Guggenheim bought Dick Clark Productions in 2012 for about $380 million from RedZone Capital Management, a private equity firm run by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. It has 12-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of around $60 million, according to sources.

Dick Clark Productions could now be worth between $500 million $1 billion, according to the sources.

The Hollywood Reporter is dedicated to breaking entertainment and business news, while Billboard, best known for its music charts, publishes news and reviews and organizes events for the music industry.

The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard brands reach more than 27.5 million U.S. users a month online, according to Eldridge Industries.

Boehly joined Guggenheim in 2001 and rose through the ranks to the No. 2 job. He had previously worked at J.H. Whitney & Co, Citigroup Inc C.N and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman