Voltage Pictures Settles With Law Firm in Busted China Deal

Voltage Pictures has reached a confidential settlement with the Zhong Lun law firm, ending a three-year legal dispute over the company’s canceled sale to a Chinese manufacturing firm.

The deal marked a high-water mark of sorts for China’s Hollywood buying spree, which came to an abrupt halt as Chinese regulators clamped down on overseas investment. In November 2016, Anhui Xinke New Materials announced that it would buy 80% of Voltage for $345 million.

But Xinke canceled the deal a month later, claiming that Voltage had failed to provide documents to Chinese regulators. Voltage sued Xinke and the Zhong Lun firm in January 2017, accusing Xinke of breaching the agreement and accusing Zhong Lun of breaching its duties as an escrow agent in the deal. Voltage alleged that the law firm had returned a $4 million breakup fee to Xinke as the deal collapsed, and sought the return of the fee.

The law firm, which is based in Beijing but has offices in the U.S., denied wrongdoing. The case was scheduled for trial on Feb. 3. But in a court filing last week, Voltage’s attorneys announced that the case had been settled. Terms were not disclosed.

Voltage reached a settlement with Xinke in May 2018, following an arbitration at the International Centre for Dispute Resolution.

At the time the deal collapsed, Xinke announced that it would buy 29.9% of Pegasus Entertainment, a Hong Kong-based firm. That deal, too, was canceled months later.

Xinke has since changed its name to Kingswood Enterprise Co., and says it has a dual focus on copper production and the film and TV business.

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