Johnny To-directed "Election"

Charles Heung shuffles famous name film assets between listed companies.

HONG KONG – China Star Film Group, one of the best-known Hong Kong production houses of the 1990s and early 2000s, has been bought and sold by actor-turned-casino tycoon Charles Heung Wah Keung.

China Star Film, which previously produced or distributed movies with Andy Lau, Cecilia Cheung and Stephen Chow and Johnny To’s “Election” (pictured) and “My Left Eye Sees Ghosts,” is currently a joint venture between China Star Entertainment and China Media and Films Holdings.

It will be sold by China Star Entertainment to China Media and Films in a transaction worth just HK$4.34 million (US$560,000). Despite the lowball value, the transaction has to be declared to the stock market as Heung is chairman of both companies.

According to the transaction document China Star Film was essentially dormant in 2013 and made an unaudited loss of HK$41,000 (US$5,250).

According to China Star Entertainment’s previous 2013 end of year filing revenue for film distribution operations amounted to HK$641,000 (US$82,700) and its segment loss amounted to HK$4,673,000 (US$603,000), largely relating to impairment losses of HK$4,745,000 (US$613,000). The report said that the film division released no new titles in 2013, but planned to get back into production of a single title in the second half of 2014.

China Star Entertainment has scaled back on its film-making activities to instead become a significant player in the casino industry in nearby Macau. It owns a casino-hotel complex and organizes junkets which bring gamblers to the tables.

In a separate announcement it was revealed that China Media and Films Holdings is to change its name to China Star Cultural Media Group, and that its new Chinese name will be 中國星文化產業集團有限公司.

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