Rapidly expanding Hong Kong media group, Sun Television Cybernetworks Holdings, plans to acquire a 50% stake in mainland Chinese film producer and distributor Beida Huayi.
Owned by Chinese producer Dong Ping, Beida Huayi was one of the minority investors in Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and held Chinese rights to the film. The company also invested in Jiang Wen's Devils On The Doorstep which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2000.
According to a letter of intent, Beida Huayi has committed to achieve a turnover of $13.8m (Yuan140m) and pre-tax profit of $2m (Yuan20m) in the 12months following the acquisition. Sun has an option to increase the stake to100% within a year.
Sun has also announced a strategic co-operation with Beida Huayi's parent companies Beida Culture Investment and Beida Jade Bird under which the three partners will work together on cable TV network resources and content provision.
The acquisition forms part of Sun's strategy to evolve from a producer and distributor of TV programming into a multimedia group with interests spanning music, film and TV, internet content and book publishing. The two-year old company produces Chinese-language programming, with a focus on documentaries and operates a bouquet of cable and satellite channels which have distribution in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and to a limited extent in mainland China.
Sun recently acquired a 60% stake in Taiwanese broadcaster Satellite Entertainment Communication Company (SEC) and 100% of Chinese music and TV programming distributor Jingwen Entertainment Group (previously called Media Pioneer). Jingwen has exclusive deals with Universal, Warner Bros and Dreamworks to distribute their TV programming in China.