China Film Group Sets Date for $611M IPO

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The listing is expected to be the largest in the history of Chinese entertainment.

China's dominant state-backed movie distributor, China Film Co., has set a date for its long-anticipated $611 million (4.09 billion yuan) initial public offering. The IPO is expected to be the largest in the history of Chinese entertainment.

Chin Film Co. will begin gauging investors’ interest from July 22-25 and start the offering on July 28, the company said Wednesday in a filing with the Shanghai Stock Exchange. A central part of the government-controlled film colossus China Film Group, the company plans to offer up to 467 million shares on the Shanghai exchange. 

China Film has a 58 percent share of all theatrical movie distribution in China, and all imported foreign films are handled by either China Film or fellow state-backed distributor Huaxia.

China Film said the capital raised from the share sale will help fuel its expansion plans over the next three years, which include the production of 53 movies and 14 TV dramas, along with the construction of 91 movie theaters. After the sale, China Film Group will see its stake fall from 93 percent to 67 percent, the filing said.

China Film's IPO ambitions stretch back to at least 2004, when it tried and failed to gain approval for a listing on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Over the past five years, the company has postponed going public in Mainland China on three occasions.