×
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

  • IWC Schaffhausen store opening, Rodeo Drive,

    8 Luxury Gifts That Industry Leaders Are Spending Their Paychecks On

    Whether you’re celebrating a new launch, a new business venture, or toasting to the end of another successful year, here are eight gift ideas to reward yourself — and to impress the company you keep. 1. Saint Laurent Perforated Leather Tote Bag If you work in the industry, you need a good bag, and you’ve [...]

  • best airlines ranked inflight entertainment

    Holiday Travel Survey Reveals Airlines With Best In-Flight Entertainment

    There are many ways to pass the time if you’re in the air, but for most people, settling in with a glass of wine and a movie is the preferred way to fly. But not all airlines share the same script when it comes to entertainment offerings. A new survey from the website, CableTV.com, ranked [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Jennifer Lawrence Denies Harvey Weinstein's Claim in Latest Assault Lawsuit

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. The suit details that Weinstein claimed he was trying to help her and that he was the gateway to her dreams. [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content