Simonds told the South China Morning Post that STX is poised to open an office in Hong Kong and that the special administrative region of China is also his favored location for an IPO. Those moves would position the company well for its role as a gateway between China and Hollywood.
STX already has a number of Chinese investors, including Hony Capital. In a recent funding round he brought in Chinese social media giant Tencent and PCCW, Hong Kong’s largest phones and Internet supplier. It also has a major slate funding deal with China’s Huayi Brothers Media.
Simonds gave no indication of the listing timeframe nor the amount of capital to be raised, but said that the company has no further need of funding before the IPO. “The business itself is sustaining, and the last round of financing gave us the capital we needed to expand all the other businesses besides movies,” Simonds told the SCMP.
Hong Kong is no longer the movie capital of Asia that it was in the 1980s, but its development as a financial center and its common law jurisdiction that is distinct from that of mainland China give it continuing relevance to the movie industry. Flagship Entertainment the joint venture formed late last year between Warner Bros. and China Media Capital has its operation base in Beijing and its legal seat in Hong Kong. The city is also on course to be the world’s IPO capital this year.
STX is currently in post-production on Jackie Chan- and Pierce Brosnan-starring “The Foreigner,” and is working with Hunan TV to develop reality show “Number One Surprise.”