South Korean film major CJ Entertainment has registered with KOSDAQ, the local technology exchange, for a review in preparation for going public. A founding shareholder of DreamWorks SKG and a key player in the local film industry, CJ Entertainment may be the first of Korea's film companies to carry out an IPO.
Pending a favourable review by KOSDAQ, the company plans to issue stock by late this year or early 2002. According to CEO Lee Kang-Bok, CJE hopes to use the capital raised to expand its slate of local and imported titles, add to its existing chain of CGV multiplexes (owned in a 50-50 joint venture with Village Roadshow of Australia), and potentially expand into music and other related fields. The company also plans to create a talent management company in the coming year.
Last year CJ Entertainment captured an industry-leading 20.5% share in the Korean market, powered by such hits as Gladiator and record-breaking local feature Joint Security Area. This year it has found continued success with hits Shrek, Cast Away and the recently-released local blockbuster Musa: The Warrior.
CJ Entertainment is one of a group of Korean film companies to have announced plans to go public last spring, following the acquisition of Cinema Service by Locus Holdings, a publicly listed company. On May 10, Starmax became the first company to register with KOSDAQ for a review, but it is currently undergoing a re-evaluation. Other companies to have announced their intention to register include Tube Entertainment, Digital Dream Studios and KangJeGyu Films.