China Film Studio Tycoon Wang Changtian Expands Clout With Online Ticket Investment

2016/5/31 16:41:00 (Beijing Time)   Source:Forbes    By:Russell Flannery

Beijing film studio billionaire Wang Changtian plans to gain control of the country’s top online film ticketing business.

Wang’s Beijing Enlight Media said on Saturday it will pay the equivalent of $245 million for a 19% stake in Tianjin Maoyan Culture Media, which runs online ticketing site www.maoyan.com. In addition, Enlight Media’s parent company Enlight Holding – 95% owned by Wang– would acquire 38.4% of Tianjin Maoyan for $122.5 million in cash and a 6% stake in Beijing Enlight Media.

The purchase values Maoyan, which had a 30% share of China’s online movie ticket sales last year, at 8.3 billion yuan, or $1.3 billion. Chinese billionaire Wang Xing currently owns 85.5% of Maoyan and would own 31% after the transaction. Wang also founded Meituan.com, a popular e-commerce site.

Maoyan, which does business with more than 5,000 theaters in China to date, may lose money in the short term as the whole industry still in an early phase, Beijing Enlight said. The whole transaction needs shareholder approval.

Shares in Beijing Enlight, which has been suspended since April 11 ahead of the announcement, plunged by 9.7% yesterday up the resumption of trade.

China has emerged as one of the world’s largest entertainment markets, and the industry is attracting investment from multinationals such as Disney, which is opening its first tourist park in mainland China on June 15, to home-grown e-commerce tycoons such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma.  Property billionaire Wang Jianlin has been scrambling to transform his Dalian Wanda Group into a global entertainment heavyweight.

Wang Changtian ranked No. 722 on the 2016 Forbes Billionaires list with wealth of $2.4 billion. Wang Xing is worth $2.5 billion on the real-time Forbes Billionaires List today.

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