And the winner of this year’s Golden Globes is……

China’s huge increase in outbound M&A activity in 2016 has today been given another boost by the announcement of yet another company with iconic and world-recognised brands being snapped up by Dalian Wanda, the company run by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin.

Dick Clark Productions, the US company behind the Golden Globe awards ceremony and the Miss Universe beauty pageant is to be acquired by Dalian Wanda for USD 1bn, further expanding Dalian Wanda’s entertainment reach into the famed hills of Hollywood. Dalian Wanda isn’t the only Chinese company to be have been busy on the cross border acquisition trail this year. With just under two months of the year remaining, Chinese acquirors have taken a controlling stake in 354 companies totalling USD 132.1bn, which is a 210 per cent increase on the value of deals announced for the whole of 2015. Granted, Chem China’s USD 43bn acquisition of Syngenta accounts for 32 per cent of the overall deal value, but even discounting this one deal 2016 is still significantly ahead of anything seen previously and with the time remaining until the end of the year it would not be unfeasible for a couple more high value and high profile deals originating from China to be announced.

The level of deal activity and the high profile companies who have been targeted by Chinese buyers has not unsurprisingly seen the debate rage in the financial media that it would be nigh on impossible for foreign companies to be able to acquire China’s own highest profile and biggest companies – the Chinese Government simply wouldn’t allow it. But when companies operate in a free market economy and the price on the table is a generous one then boards have to make the best decision for their shareholders, whatever the media and broader public might think.