China's Bona Film Group Secures Financing for Theater Arm Expansion
Chinese film producer and distributor Bona Film Group, in which Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox owns a 19.9 percent stake, has secured a $13 million (80 million yuan) credit facility with Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, a premier nationwide commercial bank in China.
The company said it would use the money to fund the continued expansion of its movie theater business. Shanghai Pudong agreed to provide a revolving credit line for a term of three years in the financing deal.
"We are pleased to add Shanghai Pudong Development Bank to the group of first-rate financial institutions who have partnered with Bona in our pursuit to become China's largest nonstate-owned film producer, distributor and exhibitor," said Yu Dong, founder and CEO of Bona.
He continued: "Our theater business has been a strong contributor to Bona's success in 2013, and it is a key component to the longer-term growth strategy of the company."
At the end of this year, Bona will have a total of 21 theaters with 173 screens in operation and seven new theaters under construction.
"In the first half of 2014, we expect to open four to five additional theaters," said Yu. "We expect this credit facility to support our growth plans in these areas, and we appreciate the support of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and their confidence in Bona."
Last month, the company reported earnings of $2.8 million for the third quarter, more than double the $1.3 million recorded in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 42 percent from $24.6 million to $35.0 million.