Enlight Media cries Hurray!

$160 million deal unites wireless, film

BEIJING -- One of China's largest independent film and television production companies, Enlight Media, on Monday merged with cell phone ringtone provider Hurray! Holding Co., a NASDAQ-listed company, in a deal valued at about $160 million.

The new company formed by the deal -- Hurray! Enlight Media Group Ltd. -- will be 42% owned by Enlight, whose chief executive Wang Changtian will run the combined company, according to Wang Ran, CEO of Hurray's Beijing-based investment advisor China eCapital.

Hurray! also produces and distributes music, and recently branched out into wireless services for China's population of more than 500 million mobile users.

Hurray! founder and CEO Wang Qingdai called the merger a "key milestone" in attaining the goal of transitioning from a ringtone company to an entertainment and media group, integrating content production and distribution.

"I am confident that the company is well-positioned to become the most influential media and entertainment company in the Chinese-speaking community," added Wang Changtian, Enlight's CEO and president. "We believe that China has room for a huge domestic media giant such as Time Warner or News Corp., and we intend to fill that position."

Enlight produces four hours of daily entertainment news, music, fashion and reality shows for television and has invested in and distributed five full-length motion pictures and more than 200 hours of television drama in 2007, China eCapital said.

Wang Ran said that Hurray! and Enlight will close the deal soon and begin a rapid integration.

Analysts say China's traditional ringtone companies, which showed strong early growth, have been flagging and are shifting into broader content production due to competition from China Mobile, the China's leading mobile telecommunications provider.

Hurray! now offers games, pictures and animation, community and other media and entertainment services and has a venture with Beijing TV Media, the new media channel of Beijing TV, to provide mobile interactive services for all Beijing TV programs.

At the new company, Wang Changtian will be CEO and chairman, while Sean Wang, Hurray's current president and CFO, will be CFO and co-president with current Enlight vp Li Xiaoping.