Hong Kong property andtelecoms tycoon Li Ka Shing looks set to acquire a 17% stake in moviepowerhouse Golden Harvest Entertainment from Taiwan's computer giant Acer,which was brought in as a shareholder in 2000.
The transaction between Liand Acer is understood to be a done deal. An official announcement - nowpending approval from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on which Golden Harvest islisted - is expected to be made soon.
It is widely rumoured thatseveral media companies, including China's Stellar MegaMedia and Hong Kong'seSun Holdings, were keen to buy Acer's stake.
Although Li is a long-timefriend of Golden Harvest founder Raymond Chow, his purchase seems to make goodbusiness sense to his real estate portfolio. It is believed that synergy can beachieved between his property development business and Golden Harvest cinemaswhich are all housed in shopping malls.
Late last year, GoldenHarvest sealed a deal with developer China Resources Holding for building a12-screen cinema in the MIXc shopping mall in Shenzhen, the Chinese city acrossthe border from Hong Kong.
Golden Harvest is alsounderstood to be in talks to buy Taiwan's exhibitor Warner Village, a jointventure between Warner Bros International Theatres and Australia's VillageRoadshow.