Two of Taiwan’s top media investors have injected $10 million into Hong Kong studio Media Asia.
Fubon Financial Holding Venture Capital and KBro Media, one of Taiwan’s leading cable TV groups, agreed to buy new Media Asia shares representing 14% of the company.
Media Asia, which is backed by property tycoon Peter Lam and a fund controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, topper of Alibaba, is one of Hong Kong’s biggest producers and film financiers, having been involved in titles including “Infernal Affairs” and “The Departed.” Media Asia was also a backer of “Cloud Atlas.”
At Berlin, Media Asia’s sales slate includes Chinese martial-arts pic “The Wrath of Vajra,”supernatural thriller “Helios” and romantic comedy sequel “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2,” directed by Johnny To.
A series of changes, including the listing of the company’s shares on the Hong Kong stock market, have been made as Media Asia has adapted to the emergence of a new greater China market for music, talent and film.
In the last quarter ended October 2013, Media Asia lost $1.8 million, following losses of $11.9 million in the year to July 2013. The company says the proceeds of the share placing will be used to boost working capital.
“Our plans remain the same, to provide great entertainment to the Chinese market. With the placement we are on even stronger financial ground to do so,” said Jeffrey Soong, Media Asia CEO.
In order that Lam and his associates retain majority control of the group a chunk of commercial debt will also be converted into shares. That will dilute the Taiwanese pair to a 6.6% stake.
In a related move, eSun, another listed company headed by Lam, which acquired 85% of Hong Kong theater chain Intercontinental and in December, Media Asia announced that all its films will in future be released in Hong Kong through Intercontinental’s distribution arm.