×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Paramount Partner Huahua Media Sold to Oriental Times

China’s Oriental Times Media has bought a majority stake in Huahua Culture Media, one of the pair of Chinese companies that is co-financing a slate of movies at Paramount Pictures.

The all-cash deal was completed for $40.6 million (RMB280 million) and sees Huahua sell a 51% stake, according to regulatory filings made by the Shenzhen stock market-listed Oriental Times.

It may also coincide with a rethink of the Paramount slate financing deal.

The Huahua takeover deal had been signaled many months earlier, but marks another curious twist in the corporate development of China’s film and entertainment sector.

For Oriental Times, previously known as Guanglu Measuring Instrument, the move is a further diversification from a core business in manufacturing precision digital measuring equipment. Entertainment is a business sector that is growing faster and attracts higher ratings from investors and Guanglu began expansion in 2015, at the height of the Chinese box office boom.

For Huahua, which has been one of the most forward Chinese investors in individual Hollywood movie titles, the share sale provides the founders with profits for building the business to its current scale. Huahua is involved in film distribution in China and film investment in China and the U.S. Its Hollywood investments include movies including “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” “Allied,” “Star Trek: Beyond,” and “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” Huahua made nearly $6 million of profit in 2016-17, according to another filing by Oriental Times.

Earlier this year Huahua and Shanghai Film Group agreed to bankroll a slate of movies at Paramount. While that deal appeared to be delayed by Chinese regulatory limits on capital exports, it was eventually concluded in April as a three-year agreement to finance 30% of the production cost, up from an originally announced 25%.

The agreement, which also gives Huahua and SFG a presence on the Paramount lot, includes an option for the Chinese companies to extend the deal to a fourth year. But after the disappointing performance of a succession of Paramount titles – including “Ghost in the Shell,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” and “Baywatch” – the slate financing deal could be in jeopardy.

An exit could be complicated. While the slate deal does not provide objective performance benchmarks that would allow Huahua and SFG to exit, it is understood that that Chinese investors could cite other reasons.

Oriental Times simultaneously announced another diversification. It announced that it would be buying a significant minority stake of 40% in TV producer Yuan Chun Media for $38.3 million (RMB264 million).

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content