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China’s Huayi to Inject $120 Million Into Robinov’s Studio 8

HONG KONG – Leading private sector Chinese film and TV group Huayi Brothers Media says it will invest up to $150 million in Studio 8, the new company being hatched by former Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov.

Huayi confirmed the move in an announcement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and said that it had signed a term sheet, setting out an injection of $120 million-$150 million.

“After becoming Studio 8’s shareholder, the company will be in charge of the issuing and distribution of films produced by Studio 8 in the Greater China,” the statement said.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, the company added.

Huayi shares were suspended and will resume trading on Friday.

Huayi started from a base in advertising and has grown spectacularly since the liberalization of China’s film industry in 2001-02. It now has a diverse range of film and TV production and distribution interests, to which it has added a chain of multiplex cinemas. It’s also expanding into theme parks: It is currently building one on Hainan island, in the South China Sea, which will feature concepts from the Huayi-produced movies of Feng Xiaogang. The company saw net profits of $107 million in 2013.

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