STX Entertainment may be edging closer to an initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, early in 2018.
The company could raise $500 million of fresh capital and achieve a valuation of $3.5 billion, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal that cites unnamed sources.
STX, which was founded some three years ago by Robert Simonds and Bill McGlashan, has indicated on several previous occasions that it is aiming for Hong Kong listing. The scale of the capital raising and implied valuation were not previously known. Contacted by Variety, STX had no comment on the matter.
The company is U.S.-based, but has numerous corporate and business relationships with China. Those make investment interest and the case for a listing in Hong Kong stronger.
STX attracted initial capital in 2014 from Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital and the following year struck a slate financing and distribution arrangement with leading Chinese film studio Huayi Brothers. Last year China’s giant Tencent group, which has interests ranging from games and social media to film production, and Hong Kong telco PCCW, took additional share stakes. The size of their investments was not disclosed.
A listing of STX in Hong Kong would give Chinese companies an easy route to invest in Hollywood. Investment through high profile acquisitions has been largely curtailed through several direct interventions by the Chinese government.
The company’s Jackie Chan- and Pierce Brosnan-starring “The Foreigner” is to be released in China this weekend. STX has previously scored a hit with “Bad Moms” and is aiming a sequel “A Bad Moms Christmas” for a worldwide release in November.