HONG KONG – Actor and singer Nicholas Tse Ting-fung is to become the largest shareholder in publicly-listed See Corporation after selling a controlling stake in his post-production company for nearly $16 million.
Tse, whose career stretches from Hong Kong actioners “Gen X Cops” to the more recent thrillers “Beast Stalker,” and “The Viral Factor” and the current mainland Chinese romantic hit “But Always,” is selling 60% of his PO post-production and VFX firm for HK$122.5 million (US$15.7 million).
See Corp will pay by issuing new shares at a nominal price of HK$0.35 each. The shares had been suspended from trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but on re-listing on Friday morning they jumped from HK$0.38 to HK$0.8 apiece, meaning that on paper Tse has more than doubled his money. He will also be the largest single shareholder in the company, with 19% of the enlarged share capital.
As a private company, PO showed net losses after tax, but after the termination of life insurance policies in favour of Tse, the company would have reported profits of US$163,000 and EBITDA of US$1.43 million in the first nine months of this year.
PO has operations in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, supplying services to film and advertising industries. It is planning to expand its services into mobile applications content, online games, corporate events, micro films and animation production.
Separately, it is constructing a high end VFX facility in Beijing set to open next month and is in negotiations with an unnamed Hollywood VFX supplier to become an outsourcing supplier from early 2015. It is also looking at a similar deal to supply the Taiwanese film industry.
Tse, 34, has a pop idol and six-pack image, but has also earned a reputation as one of Hong Kong’s most business savvy performers, with substantial interests in commercial property as well as movie profit participations and commercial endorsements.
Details of his finances emerged during his recent divorce from actress Cecilia Cheung Pak-chi. People With Money magazine this year reported his net worth at RMB800 million (US$131 million), though other media have reported his fortune at over US$200 million, with some US$75 million of that coming in the last year.