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Imax Corp. said on Thursday that its Imax China Holding unit has submitted a listing application in connection with plans for an initial public offering and listing of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Management has long signaled it was looking for a stock market listing of its Chinese subsidiary. Incorporated under the laws of the Cayman Islands, Imax China was established to oversee the expansion of Imax’s business throughout Greater China.
Imax filing for a Hong Kong IPO was preceded by the giant-screen exhibitor selling a 20 percent stake in its expanding China business for $80 million to CMC Capital Partners, a media- and entertainment-focused investment fund, and FountainVest Partners, a China-focused private equity firm. The investment in Imax China Holding gave the Canadian-based exhibitor a partner and on-the-ground guidance in China considered necessary to further expand in that market.
Allowing Chinese ownership of its Chinese arm was also a key prerequisite for completing an eventual IPO of Imax China. Imax will also need to continue expanding its screen count in China and screening tentpole Hollywood movies and Chinese titles as it navigates local regulatory and market waters.
CMC Capital Partners previously acquired a controlling stake in Star China and has a joint venture with DreamWorks Animation.
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