Bona prepares for Nasdaq bow

Chinese film company will be first to list Stateside

Chinese thesp Gong Li will ring the bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange today when producer-distrib Bona Film Group becomes the first publicly traded Chinese film company to list Stateside.

Bona plans to sell up to $80 million in shares in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Market. It has been preparing the listing for several years.

Because of stock exchange rules, the company is forbidden to comment on its plans ahead of the listing, but Bona is expected to use proceeds from the IPO to expand its movie theater biz, buy film distribution rights and invest in productions.

Bona is one of the leading lights in the booming Chinese film biz. Formed by CEO Yu Dong in 1999, Bona merged in 2003 with Poly Group, the business arm of China’s People’s Liberation Army. In the first three quarters of this year, Bona lost $7.5 million, compared with a year-earlier profit of $1.2 million, although revenue more than doubled to $35 million.

Bona is working with Hong Kong helmer Tsui Hark on $35 million chopsocky 3D epic “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate,” in production in China.

It has joint-distribution arrangements with state-owned China Film Group and has distributed 17 Chinese pics internationally since 2008, including Teddy Chan’s “Bodyguards and Assassins” last year.

Bank of America subsid Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan are leading the transaction, with China Investment Capital Corp. as co-lead. Cowen & Co. and Piper Jaffray are co-managers.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Biz News from Variety