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Hurray! merges with Enlight Media

Chinese companies team up for media endeavor

Nasdaq-listed Hurray Holding, a Chinese company that provides ringtones, has merged with Chinese TV producer Enlight Media in an all-share deal valued at around $160 million.

Company will be renamed Hurray Enlight Media Group and retain Hurray’s Nasdaq listing. Enlight stockholders will take take 42% of the enlarged share capital.

Move is intended to match Hurray’s distribution outlets with Enlight’s production capacity, and the pair talk of creating one of China’s largest independent media companies.

Deal also reflects changes in the Chinese market for services provided via phone companies. Last year dominant mobile phone company China Mobile adopted tighter restrictions on how its clients subscribe to additional services. Since then, China Mobile has expanded into the field.

“Service providers can’t survive on their own. But moving from a content business to a service-provider business is much easier than the other way around,” Enlight CEO Wang Changtian said. “We believe that China has room for a huge domestic media giant such as Time Warner or News Corp., and we intend to fill that position.”

Hurray’s distribution channels include record labels Huayi Brothers Music and Freeland Digital Music, New Run Entertainment and Secular Bird.

Enlight is one of the largest private TV program producers and publishers in China, producing four hours of daily entertainment news, music, fashion and reality shows. In 2007, it invested in and distributed five movies and more than 200 hours of TV drama.

Wang will become chairman-CEO of the enlarged company. Sean Wang, prexy and chief financial officer of Hurray, will be co-president and CFO; Xiaoping Li, VP of Enlight, will be co-president.

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