Chi­nese cop­per firm to buy Volt­age Pic­tures

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

A MONEY-LOS­ING Chi­nese cop­per pro­ducer will buy the ma­jor­ity stake of US film­maker Volt­age Pic­tures, the pro­ducer of The Hurt Locker, for US$349 mil­lion, the lat­est in a string of Chi­nese ac­qui­si­tions of Hol­ly­wood as­sets.

An­hui Xinke New Ma­te­ri­als Com­pany of­fered to buy 80 per­cent of Mid­night In­vest­ments – which owns Volt­age Pic­tures – for 2.39 bil­lion yuan ($348.9 mil­lion) in an all­cash trans­ac­tion, the Chi­nese firm said in a state­ment to the Shang­hai ex­change, where it is listed.

Among its best known films, Los An­ge­les-based Volt­age Pic­tures pro­duced the 2009 war film The Hurt Locker and the Os­car-win­ning 2013 fea­ture Dal­las Buy­ers Club.

An­hui Xinke, maker of cop­per ca­bles and wires, said in its thirdquar­ter re­port that it had been los­ing money for the past nine months.

It had a net loss of 79.8 mil­lion yuan from Jan­uary through Septem­ber, its earn­ings re­port showed, com­pared with a 98.2 mil­lion yuan loss in the same pe­riod last year.

This is not the first move the Chi­nese cop­per maker has tried to branch into en­ter­tain­ment.

It bought Chi­nese TV pro­duc­tion firm Xi’an Mengzhou Film and TV Cul­ture Com­mu­ni­ca­tion last year.

The pur­chase of a Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion com­pany could “en­hance the listed com­pany’s over­all prof­itabil­ity”, the firm said.

The deal is still sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval and the Chi­nese firm said it in­tended to sign a non­com­pete agree­ment with key staff to keep the man­age­ment team sta­ble.

Chi­nese com­pa­nies have been snap­ping up lead­ing film­mak­ers and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­ers as the gov­ern­ment en­cour­ages firms to go abroad in search of bet­ter re­turns and greater in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence.

Last month, Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate Wanda Group bought the maker of the Golden Globes awards show, US tele­vi­sion rights owner Dick Clark Pro­duc­tions, for “ap­prox­i­mately $1 bil­lion”.

It also spent $3.5 bil­lion to buy Leg­endary En­ter­tain­ment, the film­mak­ers be­hind the Bat­man tril­ogy and Juras­sic World, af­ter it bought movie theatre chain AMC for $2.6 bil­lion in 2012. –

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