Polybona Film Distribution eyes NYSE listing

08:43, November 04, 2009      

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A third leading Chinese movie studio is aiming for a listing - this time on the New York Stock Exchange - as the country's entertainment companies turn to the capital markets to raise funds.

Beijing Polybona Film Distribution Co is aiming to go public in the second half of next year or the first half of 2011, Chief Executive Yu Dong told The Associated Press in a phone interview yesterday. The company will start drafting its listing application early next year, he said.

Polybona's rivals are making similar moves. Huayi Brothers Media Corp debuted on China's new start-up companies market in the southern city of Shenzhen on Friday, surging 148 percent on its first day of trading. The State-run China Film Group is planning to list in Shanghai, spokesman Weng Li said recently.

Yu said he wants to list Polybona in the US, where entertainment stocks are common, to open up the company to American and other foreign investors.

China allows foreign access to its domestic stock markets through certain institutional investors. He said Polybona has already received funding from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners China, with the second company investing 100 million yuan ($15 million).

"The capital markets are starting to recognize Chinese movie studios," he said.

The executive declined to reveal Polybona's revenue or profits, but said he estimates its movies will account for 800 million to 1 billion yuan ($117 million to $146 million), or 20 percent of the Chinese box office this year.

Polybona's businesses encompass movie distribution, production and multiplexes. Among its recent productions are the upcoming Jackie Chan historical epic Big Soldier, the historical thriller Bodyguards and Assassins, starring Donnie Yen, police thriller Overheard and Mulan.

Yu said Polybona would have 50 movie screens by the end of the year, but hopes to increase that number to 100 by the end of next year and 200 in three to five years.

The Chinese box office is growing rapidly. Statistics show Chinese revenues surged from 920 million yuan in 2003 to 4.3 billion yuan in 2008.

Source:China Daily
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