Chinese copper firm to buy Voltage Pictures
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. –