China’s Alibaba Pictures Raising $1.6 Billion in Share Sale

Alibaba Pictures Group is to raise US$1.6 billion (HK$12.2 billion) in a share sale, the company announced.

The company, which is a separately traded unit of Alibaba the mainland Chinese e-commerce giant, is taking advantage of a current mania for media and entertainment assets in China and its booming share price.

The company said that the proceeds would be used for “general working capital purposes and to finance potential acquisitions arising out of media related investment opportunities.”

The shares are being sold through a placing, priced at HK$2.90 per share, a discount of 20% to the price before the shares were suspended at the beginning of the week. The new shares represent 20% of the Alibaba Pictures Group’s enlarged share base.

The company was formed last year when Alibaba acquired the Hong Kong and Singapore-listed ChinaVision and renamed it as Alibaba Pictures Group. Alibaba recently said that it was considering transferring several media technology assets and start-ups from the parent company into APG.

On Tuesday, APG confirmed that it is to buy control of Yueke Software Engineering for RMB830 million ($134 million). The firm provides ticketing services to 1,500 movie cinemas and software to other online ticketing platforms. The deal in principle was announced in April.

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