Theme park based on media group's pics

Chinese commercial media group Huayi Bros. is pacting with a developer to build a $460-million theme park near Shanghai based on its movies, the group said in a stock exchange announcement on Thursday.

The park will be on a 160-acre site in Suzhou, subject to approval by the authorities, Huayi said in an announcement filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange after the closing bell.

Earlier this month, giant Chinese webco Tencent bought a 4.6% stake in Huayi for $69.3 million, Tencent’s first step to expand beyond its traditional Internet offerings.

Huayi, which launched an IPO on the Nasdaq-style Growth Enterprise Market of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2009, reported box office worth $250 million last year and accounted for 30% of Chinese films.

The Huayi board authorized the joint venture with Suzhou Industrial Park Yangcheng Lake Island Development, a unit of the Suzhou Industrial Park Administrative Committee, and other investors to build the theme park.

Huayi will own 35% of the entity and the actual breakdown of the investment will be decided after the company is officially established.

Suzhou, one of the more beautiful Chinese cities, had 90 million tourists last year, up 26% on a year earlier.

Within a 65-mile radius there are 22 cities with populations of more than 1 million.

Huayi has previously explored building a theme park in Qingdao, Shandong province, and in Chengdu in Sichuan.

Last month, Walt Disney broke ground on its long-awaited $4.4 billion resort in Shanghai.

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