No guts, no glory for Ci­ty­neon’s CEO Ron Tan

Gi­gan­tic is an un­der­state­ment when de­scrib­ing the growth of 60-year-old Ci­ty­neon Hold­ings.

Singapore Business Review - - FIRST -

The ideas and ser­vice agency had al­ways wanted to em­u­late home ground Sin­ga­pore, which rode on the shoul­ders of giants to get where it is to­day, to grow to be suc­cess­ful in the ex­pe­ri­en­tial ex­hi­bi­tion in­dus­try. It is now that gi­ant it­self and with part­ners such as Dis­ney and Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios, Ci­ty­neon is cur­rently in a Mar­vel­lous po­si­tion to trans­form en­ter­tain­ment for a gen­er­a­tion of su­per­hero fans with in­no­va­tive, in­ter­ac­tive ex­hi­bi­tions.

First launched in 1956 as a fam­ily-run sup­plier of elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances, Ci­ty­neon has grown in more than mere leaps and bounds in a new busi­ness that lever­ages in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights from the ma­jor stu­dios to or­gan­ise ex­hi­bi­tions.

The Sin­ga­pore Ex­change listed com­pany (SGX:5HJ) spe­cialises in craft­ing qual­ity cus­tomer and brand ex­pe­ri­ences in the fields of in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture, events, ex­hi­bi­tions and theme parks; and they in­clude the Mar­vel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N ex­hi­bi­tion, Has­bro Trans­form­ers Auto-bot Al­liance and Juras­sic World, The Ex­hi­bi­tion.

Ci­ty­neon’s ex­ec­u­tive chair­man & Group CEO Ron Tan said with tech­nol­ogy and the speed of in­for­ma­tion at our fin­ger­tips, es­pe­cially for mil­len­ni­als who have in­creas­ingly shorter at­ten­tion span.

“They no longer want to spend money to visit a static ex­hi­bi­tion. There­fore, our shows are im­mer­sive at­trac­tions where vis­i­tors get drawn deep into the world of The Avengers and ex­plore the ori­gins of their favourite Mar­vel su­per­heroes,” he said in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view.

Ci­ty­neon is com­mit­ted to high ex­cel­lence, pre­ci­sion and cre­ativ­ity, and is pro­fi­cient in con­cep­tu­al­is­ing and cre­at­ing im­mer­sive at­trac­tions, theme parks and ex­hi­bi­tions fea­tur­ing state-of-the-art tech­nolo­gies and im­mer­sive sto­ry­telling.

Grow­ing big­ger and brighter

And the past few years were prob­a­bly the most grat­i­fy­ing as­pect of Mr Tan’s ten­ure at the helm of Ci­ty­neon. Apart from hav­ing deep­ened its re­la­tion­ships with in­ter­na­tional movie stu­dios and multi­na­tion­als and gov­ern­ments glob­ally for both its tra­di­tional and In­tel­lec­tual Prop­erty busi­nesses, the com­pany’s mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion has grown more than 15-fold from below S$20 mil­lion to around S$268 mil­lion to­day. Its share price was S$1.07 when mar­ket closed on Nov 21 (2017).

In May (2017), Lu­crum 1 In­vest­ment, an in­vest­ment hold­ing com­pany con­trolled by three key di­rec­tors (Mas­sive, Mu­tual and Ron Tan) of whom Mr Tan was one. He owns 15.5 per cent stake in the ve­hi­cle, bought the en­tire stake from Ci­ty­neon’s ma­jor stake­holder Star Me­dia.

Lu­crum 1 cur­rently holds a 68.95 per cent stake in Ci­ty­neon af­ter mak­ing a manda­tory un­con­di­tional cash of­fer for its or­di­nary shares in July, mak­ing Mr Tan the sin­gle largest in­di­vid­ual share­holder with the full con­trol of Ci­ty­neon’s busi­nesses.

No guts, no glory

In the re­cent an­nounce­ment, Ci­ty­neon is fac­ing a pos­si­ble cash of­fer as Hong Kong firm Mu­tual Power, an in­di­rect whol­ly­owned sub­sidiary of Teamway In­ter­na­tional Group Hold­ings (pre­vi­ously known as Jin Bao Bao), to ac­quire the shares held by Mas­sive rights, which holds about 76 per cent stake in Lu­crum 1.

Mr Tan said you need guts to stay ahead of the pack. “We are on the right track to grow, bar­ring any un­fore­seen global calami­ties. No guts, no glory,” he said.

“It is a marathon we are run­ning, but we are only at the cusp of the game. Per­haps the dis­tance we have run is merely the first 5km. We still have 37km more to run be­fore we com­plete the whole marathon. But who’s to say we won’t be sign­ing up for an­other few marathons?”

Ci­ty­neon is head­quar­tered in Sin­ga­pore. It has a sub­sidiary, Vic­tory Hill Ex­hi­bi­tions.

“The com­pany’s mar­ket cap has grown more than 15-fold from below S$20 mil­lion to around S$268 mil­lion to­day.”

Juras­sic World- The Ex­hi­bi­tion

Mr Ron Tan, Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man & Group CEO of Ci­ty­neon Hold­ings

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