U.S. firm backs China’s Apex loop

Trust unveils $25 million investment

HONG KONG — U.S.-based Entertainment Properties Trust has unveiled a $25 million investment in Chinese exhibitor Apex Intl. Cinemas.

The deal, due to be announced at the CineAsia exhibition and distribution convention in Macau on Tuesday, will fund Apex’s plans to build 10 multiplex cinemas in China, including screens in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

“China is the fastest growing and most underserved cinema market in the world,” said David Brain, CEO of Entertainment Properties Trust. “We have every reason to believe that the cinemas will perform at a very high level.”

Apex was established this year and is staffed with key personnel from Warner Bros.’ now defunct Chinese exhibition company, Warner Bros. Intl. Cinemas. The studio pulled out from the mainland market in 2006 due to changes in regulations for foreign ownership of cinema screens.

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