Wanda Cinemas Buys 1.875% Stake in Bona Film Group



(Yicai Global) May 19 -- Leading Chinese cinema chain Wanda Cinema Line Corp. [SHE:002739] is set to acquire a 1.875-percent stake in Bona Film Group Ltd. for CNY300 million (USD43.5 million).

The two groups entered investment and cooperation framework agreements and will work together on advertising, cinema affiliation and film financing operations.

Under the terms of the deal, Bona’s new theaters will partner with Wanda Cinema Line, and its existing cinemas also will upon expiration of current affiliation contracts, tech blog 36Kr.com reported. Bona owns 41 movie theatres. Wanda had 416 as of the end of last month.

Wanda Cinema Line and its subsidiary, Wanda Media Co., will run pre-movie ads for Bona’s screens, and the firms will promote and invest in each other’s movies.

Battle of Memories, a crime thriller film released by Wanda, did not do very well at the box office, grossing about CNY300 million. Bona’s The Taking of Tiger Mountain and Operation Mekong were box office hits and received favorable reviews from critics. Bona can help Wanda, who is still new to filmmaking, improve its position as a producer.

In a statement issued yesterday, Wanda Cinema Line officially changed its name to Wanda Film Holding Co. effective May 19, saying that the original name no longer reflects its coverage as it has expanded its business lines to include movie screening, advertising, integrated marketing, derivatives and live-streaming, with non-box-office revenues making up over a third of its total operating income. The new name is also an indication that the group is in the middle of a strategic transformation toward movie and television program production.

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