The $80m sale of the stake in Imax Corporation’s Greater China business to investment fund CMC Capital Partners (CMC) and private equity firm FountainVest Partners (FountainVest) values the company at $400m in the eyes of the investors.

The investors will pay the $80m in two equal instalments, the first of which was expected to close on April 8 and the second in early 2015.

IMAX China will continue to be a consolidated subsidiary of IMAX Corporation. 

The transaction is expected to lead to an eventual initial public offering of IMAX China and pave the way for ongoing expansion of IMAX’s theatre network and overall presence in China.

“China is an enormously complex market in which we have accomplished quite a bit over the last 15 years,” said IMAX Corporation CEO Richard L Gelfond.

“At this juncture, it makes sense to bring in Chinese investors to help us better address local market dynamics and further optimise our business in China, including both our core theatre business as well as new business initiatives such as the home theatre joint venture we announced last year with TCL.

“We believe Ruigang Li and CMC, as well as FountainVest, are ideal partners whose status, leadership and expertise will be invaluable in helping us accomplish these goals.

“China’s movie and entertainment industry is at a critical point of its development,” said CMC chairman Li. “As the preeminent investment platform in China dedicated to the media and entertainment sector, CMC is excited to be able to forge this strategic alliance with IMAX – the world’s leading innovator of entertainment technology under the leadership of CEO Richard L Gelfond.”