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KT dials up Sidus deal

Telco pays $27.2 million

HONG KONG — Korea’s largest telco, KT Corp., has paid 28 billion Won ($27.2 million) for 51% of dominant production-talent management combo Sidus FNH.

Latter was formed this July after the venerable Sidus Pictures merged with the slightly zippier Fun & Happiness. The new company seemed set to stand out in an industry dominated by producer-exhibition combos, but with few production shingles of scale.

Sidus FNH has not commented on its reasons for the sale or its post-acquisition business plans.

With an annual production capacity of eight or nine features, Sidus FNH’s films and choice of distribution partner are expected to have a major impact on the fast-changing Korean film sector.

The deal was announced in the first public speech given by new KT boss Nam Joong-soo. Nam said KT would spend $10.1 billion morphing into a multi-media corporation through infrastructure upgrades and content acquisitions.

Headed by Kim Mi-hee, Fun & Happiness has credits that include cult sci-fi actioner “Arahan” and this summer’s hit curiosity “Blood Rain.”

Sidus, headed by Tcha Seung-jai, has produced 31 pics in its 10 year span including hits “Volcano High” and “Memories of Murder.” However, in the last year two of its biggest-budget efforts, “Antarctic Journal” and “Rikidozan,” flopped.

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