Chinese Investor Buying Korea’s Megabox Cinema Chain, Say Reports

HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox.

According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie.

JContentree Corp., a Korean media group, holds a 46% stake and now has 30 days either to beat Oriental’s offer or sell its shares.

Megabox has a roughly 20% share of the Korean exhibition market and was previously part of a vertically integrated group with the Showbox production and distribution company. Showbox still owns a small circuit of Megabox-branded cinemas in China.

The deal comes only days after Korea’s Free Trade Commission fined the two market leaders CJ-CGV and Lotte Entertainment for unfair competition, in particular because  the exhibition firms favored movies from their affiliated distribution companies.

Oriental Star is understood to have been an investor in the telecom, media and entertainment sector, including games. It is not clear whether the firm is seeking to buy the Korean company as a long-term investment or whether it is acting as a stalking horse for the ultimate owner.

Other recent Chinese moves in the Korean entertainment space have included Zhejiang Huace’s stake buy in the recently floated distributor and producer Next Entertainment World. Another Chinese investor was this month announced as buying Hoyts, Australia’s number two cinema chain.

Neither Macquarie or Megabox responded to calls from Variety.

More Biz

  • Disney-Fox Deal: Uncertainty, Anxiety Heighten as

    Disney-Fox: Shock, Fear and Uncertainty Heighten in Face of Impending Mega Deal

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • Ryan Wiik photographed at his home

    Norwegian Cowboy Actor Settles Lawsuit Against Ex-Lover

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Entertainment Attorney Arnold Burk Dies at 85

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • WME

    Marcus Levy, Amy Lynch and Andrew Russell Join WME's Comedy Touring Department

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • Meet those who spoke out on

    Meet Some of the People Who Came Out Against Weinstein, Ratner and More

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • Misogyny in Hollywood Makes Talented Women

    For Some Women, Hollywood's Culture of Inequality Is Too Much to Bear

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

  • Hollywood Sexual Harassment Handcuffs

    Naming Names Isn't Enough -- Sexual Harassers Should Have to Face the Law (Column)

    HONG KONG — A Chinese investment firm has acquired a major stake in South Korea’s third-ranked cinema chain Megabox. According to local reports, Oriental Star Capital will pay $515 million (KRW570 billion) for the 50% stake in Megabox held by Korea Multiplex Investment, a group of investors headed by Australian banking and funds group Macquarie. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content