Taiwanese businessman GouTai-chiang is acquiring a majority stake in Taiwan's oldest film studio, the Central Motion PictureCorporation (CMPC), which was facing closure following its sale to the ChinaTimes Group at the end of last year.

Gou is chairman of localelectronics subcontractor Foxlink, whose clients include Apple, Microsoft andNokia, although it's understood the acquisition is being made separately tothat company.

KMT legislator TsaiCheng-yuan will be nominated as CMPC's new chairman at a board meeting to beheld on May 8. Local press claim that the purchase price was at least $94m forwhich Gou and his wife secured almost 83% of CMPC shares. Insiders have statedthat under the new ownership, the CMPC will return to feature film investment andproduction.

Publishing conglomerateChina Times Group became CMPC's majority shareholder in Dec 2005 as part of alarger $280m deal that included the purchase of television assets owned by theKMT opposition party.

At the end of February, thestudio lots and once-popular theme park were closed and key staff laid off,leaving a skeleton crew.

Just last week, local mediaspeculated that the China Times Group was delaying payment on the deal, havingonly paid the KMT an initial installment of $12.5m, and that the newspaper conglomeratewas in active talks to re-negotiate the contract so as to specifically excludethe capital assets of the CMPC and the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC).

A revived CMPC, which haslanguished for over a decade, would have production, exhibition and post-productionassets including camera equipment, editing suites, a sound studio, two movietheatres and an historically important library of approximately 250domestically-produced films.