China’s Alibaba Pays $800 Million for Chinavision Stake

MUMBAI – Mainland Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is to pay HK$6.24 billion ($805 million) for a controlling stake in Hong Kong-listed Chinese film and TV producer Chinavision.

News of the deal sent Chinavision’s shares through the roof. They gained 187% after returning from suspension on Wednesday, rising from HK$0.64 to HK$1.84.

Alibaba will subscribe for shares representing 150% of Chinavision’s existing capital and 60% of its enlarged capital at a discounted HK$0.5 per share. Alibaba may be obliged to make a bid for the rest of the company’s shares, but has applied for an exemption.

In a statement the two said they “will establish a strategic committee to explore future business opportunities in online entertainment and media-related areas,” but that no definitive proposals, terms or timetable have been determined.

Chinavision is controlled by Dong Ping, one of the producers of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Chinavision was also a minority investor in Stephen Chow’s 2013 hit film “Journey to the West” (pictured).

The deal will make Chinavision one of the largest media investments by Alibaba, which has cross-equity holdings with Yahoo!. The Yunfeng fund, controlled by Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, has a large minority stake in Hong Kong film group Media Asia. That is currently capitalized at $61.3 million.

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