China's Alibaba Pictures, Tencent Join Buyout of Bona Film Group

Yu Dong - P 2012
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Yu Dong - P 2012

The deal values Bona, one of China’s top-tier studios, at $1 billion.

Alibaba Pictures and Tencent have joined the group bidding to pull leading Chinese film studio and distributor Bona Film Group off the NASDAQ stock exchange.

The proposed deal's current terms value Bona at $1 billion.

In June, a group including a vehicle named Uranus Connection and Chinese investor Xie Zhanshan offered to buy Bona's American depositary receipts at $13.70 each. Alibaba said it would spend $86 million to join the deal, while Tencent has declined requests to share terms.

Following the buyout, the ownership group would also include Bona founder and chairman Yu Dong, Chinese investment group Fosun International and others parties who collectively hold a 72 percent stake in the studio. 

Bona has not shared the strategy behind its NASDAQ delisting, but many expect the company to be relisted in China, where the IPO market is beginning to show renewed signs of life.

Before last summer's stock-market meltdown in China caused regulators to freeze new listings, many Chinese companies were delisted from U.S. exchanges so that they could be refloated back home, where valuations were much higher.

The deal already has received unanimous board approval. It is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016.