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South Korean exhibition giant CJ-CGV has spent $30.1 million (KRW34.7 billion) to increase its stake in Graha Layar Prima, operator of the CGV-Blitz cinema chain in Indonesia.

CJ-CGV sees its stake in Graha Layar Prima rise from 14.75% to 40.25%, according to a regulatory filing in Korea.
The shares were issued as part of a rights issue in which the cinema chain sought to raise $62 million (INR850 billion.) It is unclear whether CJ-CGV’s financial partner the Hong Kong-based IKT also took up its rights and increased its shareholding.

The move is the first investment into the Indonesian exhibition sector by a foreign company since it was announced in February that exhibition, distribution and production are to be removed from an array of industries banned to non-Indonesians. The announcement that the film sector is to be removed from the so called ‘negative list’ was made by president Joko Widodo and is understood to need legislative ratification.

CJ-CGV has been a partner of Blitz for several years, providing technical, management and loan support to the company. CJ-CGV acquired its initial stake in the company during its initial public offering in 2014.

CJ-CGV has said that it wants to become the largest cinema exhibition company in the world, and that it will have to get there by acquisition. Earlier this week it unveiled the $800 million (including debt) proposed acquisition of Turkey’s largest cinema chain Mars.

It has emerged that South Korean private equity firm IMM is CJ-CGV’s lead financial partner on that deal and that CJ-CGV itself will only hold an initial 38% of Mars. Among its current investments, IMM has investment stakes in CJ Media and Holly’s Coffee chain.