Korean Distributor Next Entertainment World Climbs 15% on Share Debut

South Korean distributor and film investor Next Entertainment World (N.E.W.) enjoyed a successful stock market debut Tuesday following an over-subscribed initial public offering.

The company has in just a few years has become Korea’s leading indie, handling titles that included “New World,” “Miss Granny,” “The Attorney” and “Hide And Seek.” In 2013 it had an 18% share of the theatrical market and it has since set up Contents Panda, a subsidiary specializing in ancillary rights.

N.E.W. saw its shares climb 15% on the first day of trading on the KOSDAQ exchange, soaring from an initial KRW15,800 to close at KRW18,150. The flotation raised $100 million for the company

A share listing had been indicated in September with a much lower and more cautious price, reflecting the underperformance of some of its 2014 titles, notably “Sea Fog” and “Obsessed.” But the company received a major boost when Chinese film and TV production group Zhejiang Huace bought a 15% stake through a Hong Kong subsidiary. That stake now falls to 13% Huace said in a statement.

Huace and N.E.W. intend to set up a joint venture company which will invest in at least two feature film productions per year over the next five years.

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