Movies

News Corp picks up 19.9% stake in China's Bona Film

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MUMBAI: News Corporation has acquired a 19.9 per cent stake in Bona Film Group, a leading film distributor and vertically integrated film company in China, from the company?s founder, chairman and CEO Dong Yu.

 

Following the close of these transactions, Yu?s ownership will be reduced to 8,210,803 ordinary shares (not including options to purchase 545,615 ordinary shares), representing approximately 27 per cent of the company?s ordinary shares outstanding.

 

These transactions are expected to close in the next 15 days and are subject to customary closing conditions.

"One of Bona?s unique advantages is its vertically-integrated business model, which differentiates the dompany from other film distributors in China," said News Corporation China investments SVP, News Corporation & CEO Dr. Jack Gao.

 

"China?s film market is growing at a rapid pace, positioning the country to be the second largest film market following the United States, and Bona?s market leadership, compelling value proposition and tremendous growth potential make this an attractive opportunity for News Corporation."

 

On his part, Yu has entered into separate agreements to acquire 1,000,000 Bona ordinary shares from SIG China Investments One, Ltd., 1,000,000 Bona ordinary shares from Matrix Partners China Funds and 1,500,000 Bona ordinary shares from the Sequoia Funds, at an average price of $11.40 per share, or $5.70 per American Depositary share.

 

"We are thrilled to receive this strategic investment from News Corporation. As one of the leading film distributors in China, we are committed to bringing the best quality Chinese films to broad audiences around the world. News Corporation?s extensive global reach, investment and distribution will help accelerate our strategy to expand our global footprint," said Yu.

 

Since its IPO in 2010, Bona has developed its business significantly."We believe now is the time to diversify our ownership structure by introducing select strategic investors. This is an exciting period of growth for China?s film industry, and we look forward to exploring the international commercial opportunities for Chinese films with our new partner," Yu said.

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