Investors who came of age watching Dick Clark host "American Bandstand" in the 1950s can soon buy a piece of the action themselves.
His Burbank company, Dick Clark Productions, said Wednesday that it hopes to raise $14.5 million in its first public stock offering. By doing so, it joins the growing ranks of entertainment companies dominated by a single big name that have chosen to cash in on their success by going public in a strong year for such stocks.
Aaron Spelling (Spelling Productions), Ron Howard (Imagine Films) and Dino De Laurentiis (De Laurentiis Entertainment) all have taken their companies public this year.
"The market seems to have a big appetite for that," said Joseph Di Lillo, an entertainment industry analyst with Drake Capital Securities in Santa Monica.
$2.5 Million in Salary, Fees
Richard Wagstaff Clark, who at 56 still hosts "American Bandstand," is a former Philadelphia disc jockey who built a financial empire in the entertainment business. According to Forbes magazine, he is worth more than $180 million and is among the 400 richest people in the United States.
He founded Dick Clark Productions in 1957. In the fiscal year ended June 30, the company paid him more than $2.5 million in salary and fees and also employed his wife and son.
The company said it earned $3.8 million on revenue of $38.3 million in its most recent fiscal year, up from earnings of $3 million on revenue of $34.2 million a year earlier.
Company President Frances La Maina said the offering's proceeds will be used to produce more television movies and expand into dramatic series and situation comedies. Besides the long-running music show, Clark's company produces "Puttin' on the Hits."
It also has done specials such as "Live Aid" and "The Golden Globe Awards," as well as four television movies and one feature film.
Clark hosts "The $25,000 Pyramid" on CBS along with "American Bandstand" on ABC, has a radio show and is believed to be the first person ever to host programs on all three networks simultaneously.
His company's offering of 1.6 million shares, estimated to fetch $8 to $10 a share, will be arranged by underwriters Allen & Co. and L. F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin. After the offering, Clark will continue to control 81% of the company's stock, which will be listed on the NASDAQ over-the-counter system.
Dick Clark Productions has 60 employees, La Maina said. Clark, who was not available for comment, is clearly the most important: the firm has a $5-million insurance policy on his life.