Following lengthynegotiations, Hong Kong's Golden Harvest Entertainment has reached a deal toacquire Taiwan's Warner Village cinema circuit - a joint venture between WarnerBros and Australia's Village Roadshow - with a consortium of Taiwanese partnersfor US$38m.
Golden Harvest istaking a 40% stake in the circuit for US$15.2m while Taiwanese companies -including disc manufacturer CMC Magnetics and a real estate company - will holdthe remaining 60%. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Taiwan andapproval from Golden Harvest shareholders
One of the leadingexhibitors in Taiwan, Warner Village operates eight cinemas with a total of 83screens and currently accounts for about 30% of the territory's box office. Thechain's 17-screen flagship cinema opened in Taipei's Hsin-Yi district in 1998.
Golden Harvest hasbeen in talks to buy into the chain for more than a year but the deal was heldup by complications over cinema leases. The circuit represents the missingpiece in the Hong Kong company's exhibition network throughout Chinese-speakingmarkets. It currently owns 218 screens in 36 cinemas in Hong Kong, Singaporeand Malaysia.