Big Media strikes deals with Mei Ah

$10.3 mil to be invested in movie, TV prod'n

HONG KONG – Ambitious new Hong Kong production shingle, Big Media has struck output and co-production deals with Mei Ah Entertainment, a related entertainment conglom with distribution, video and TV interests.

Separately Big Media’s shareholders approved a HK$223 million ($28.6 million) issue of new shares and convertible bonds.

According to filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, some $10.3 million of the proceeds will be invested in movie and TV production, with a further $12.8 million earmarked for corporate acquisitions. Big Media shares returned to trading Tuesday following a five day suspension.

Subsidiaries of Big and Mei Ah will jointly-produce two films a year for the next two years with maximum investment in each set at $2 million. Other Mei Ah subsids will pick up exclusive licenses to Big’s output.

As Mei Ah currently controls 44% of the company, agreements are formalization of the arrangements that saw Big Media created in late 2006. Company was officially unveiled in March this year with an initial slate of 20 movies from slew of connected and third party producers (Variety 21 March 2007.)

However, the new share and bond issues increase Big Media’s operational independence and potentially lift publicly held portion from 25% at present to 64%.

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