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Korea’s Opus, Zip secure investment from Spackman Group

New York and Hong Kong-based investment holding company Spackman Group has established a subsidiary to invest in the upcoming slates of Korean production companies Opus Pictures and Zip Cinema.

The announcement came this weekend from the group’s TSX Venture Exchange-listed subsidiary Spackman Equities Group Inc (SEGI), which owns the Hong Kong-based Spackman Entertainment Group. The latter entity acquired Opus and Zip this past January.

Headed by Lee Tae-hun, Opus Pictures produced Korea’s biggest local hit of 2010, action thriller The Man From Nowhere, which took almost 6.3 million admissions and grossed over $42.4m (KW47.9bn) at the box office. Eugene Lee’s Zip Cinema most recently saw a hit with this year’s rom-com All About My Wife, which took in over 4.5 million admissions and grossed more than $30.2m (KW34.1bn).

Speaking exclusively to Screendaily, Charles Spackman, chairman and CEO of Spackman Group said: “In terms of producers, Eugene’s track record is one of the best I’ve seen. She’s consistently made money on most of her films, which is pretty rare. Tae-hun’s more of a risk-taker but has had huge hits in this field witnessed by Man From Nowhere. They complement each other well. We’re looking to support and grow their companies.”

SEGI last week established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Spackman Entertainment Korea Inc. (SEK), to invest developing funds in select Opus and Zip projects. The company announced the deal involved paid-in-capital of $876,660 (KW990m) for 198,000 common shares, or 100%, of SEK.

With wide-ranging holdings, Spackman Group previously acquired major Korean production house Sidus in early 2004 before selling it as Sidus FNH to Korea Telecom (KT) in late 2005. Spackman Group states it has to date invested in more than 90 businesses in seven countries involving $2.7bn. The group’s holdings include companies engaged in telecommunications, information technology, marketing & advertisement, and alternative energy.

“When we owned Sidus, we found the key to getting it profitable was having financial discipline. Eugene and Tae-hun have a couple of the best track records in Korea. They make profitable films for realistic budgets,” said Spackman.

He added: “Spackman Entertainment Korea will likely take on outside investors from overseas countries such as China and Hong Kong. Zip’s All About My Wife was made for roughly $4m and made over $30m at the box office. It was a big hit and generated a lot of interest in smaller budget movies that make money.”

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