China Film Group’s long-mooted initial public offering is moving closer, with plans for a $740m listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, according to the China Securities Regulatory Commission.
The prospectus for the IPO reveals that China Film Group plans to issue 467 million new shares or 25% of its enlarged capital. It also stated that in the last three years, the state-backed entity has been involved in the production of 63 films, which accounted for an 18.4% share of China’s box office.
Over the last three years, the company has also been involved in releasing 591 local films and 225 imported films for a distribution market share of up to 78%.
Distribution accounts for 58% of China Film’s revenue, while production and exhibition account for around 16% each. Export of Chinese films was mentioned as an area that requires improvement.
Net revenues were $681m in 2013. Net profits were $69m (RMB428m), compared to $90m (RMB560m) in 2012.The prospectus blamed the decline on the Feb 2012 alterations to film import rules, which among other changes gave US revenue-sharing imported films a bigger share of box office from their China release. Changes last year to China’s tax rules were also cited.
Shanghai Film Group, Wanda Cinema Group and many other Chinese film companies are also waiting to list on China’s two stock exchanges in Shanghai and Shenzhen, following a 14-month freeze on new listings, which was lifted earlier this year.
*A group of Chinese ministries plan to pump RMB1bn ($162m) into the film industry, according to local press reports. The funds will support production of between five and ten movies a year with “influential themes”; promote high-tech filmmaking; boost exports of Chinese films and invest in building film websites. The ministries include the Finance Ministry, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Land, Housing Ministry and Urban People’s Bank of China. In addition, revenues derived from copyright sales and distribution of movies in sparsely populated areas will be exempt from value added tax until 2018, as will revenues from rural cinemas.