South Korean major CJ Entertainment will become the territory's first film company to go public with an initial public offering on Korea's KOSDAQ exchange on February 5.

The company plans to float 30% of its stock, hoping to raise a minimum of $31m.

A founding shareholder of DreamWorks SKG and one of Korea's top two distributors, CJ Entertainment first applied to the KOSDAQ exchange for a review in early September and received approval on November 28. It will float 3.71m of its total 12.37 million shares at an initial price of $7.19 per share. Given the high level of interest among local investors in the Korean film industry, CJ is hoping the shares will move within an initial range of $7.62 - $9.14 per share.

CJ Entertainment intends to utilise the capital raised by expanding its chain of CGV multiplexes, which are owned in a 50-50 joint venture with Village Roadshow of Australia. It will also add to its slate of local and imported features.

In late 2001, CJ acquired local competitor Tube Entertainment in a deal which gave CJ distribution rights for a large number of upcoming local features, including blockbusters 2009 Lost Memories and Jang Sun-woo's Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl.

In 2001 a large number of Korean film companies announced their intention to go public, following the acquisition of major distributor Cinema Service by Locus Holdings, a publicly listed company. To date, however, CJ Entertainment remains the only Korean film company to have been approved by KOSDAQ.

Earlier this month, CJ Entertainment became the first Korean company ever to distribute directly into international territories with its Jan 3 release of Joint Security Area in Hong Kong. In its first eight days on release, the film has grossed $106,290 from 18 screens.