Entertainment Mogul Shaw Pares Stake in TVB

Shaw, now 103, has reduced his stake to a single-digit percentage of the broadcaster he built.

HONG KONG -- Entertainment mogul Run Run Shaw has pared down his stake in leading Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, marking the retreat of one of the most dominant forces in the Chinese entertainment industry.

Shaw's withdrawal from TVB had been a persistent rumor, given his age of 103.

He and his siblings set up the Shaw Brothers studio in 1958, with Run Run serving as president. The studio churned out more than 900 Chinese films over the next 30 years. It also branched out into foreign productions, including investments in the classic Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, starring Harrison Ford, and Meteor, which featured Sean Connery and Henry Fonda.

In 1973, Shaw founded TVB, shifting his focus to television. TVB became and remains the leading TV station in Hong Kong, launching the careers of renowned talents such as actor Chow Yun-fat, art-house director Wong Kar-wai, actor-singer Andy Lau and comedian Stephen Chow.

TVB, known officially as Television Broadcasts Ltd., said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange late Wednesday that Shaw has signed an agreement to sell his 26 percent stake to a group of investors comprising Hong Kong businessman Charles Chan, Taiwanese businesswoman Cher Wang and the investment company Providence Equity Partners. The stake is controlled through Shaw Brothers (Hong Kong) Ltd.

Shaw will also sell part of a separate 6.23 percent stake he holds through his charity to others, TVB said.

Shaw's wife, Mona Fong, currently managing director of TVB, also holds a 0.26 percent in the company.

The value of the deal, which is expected to be completed before March 31, wasn't announced.

The deal still gives Shaw a nominal presence at TVB. The Hong Kong broadcaster said Shaw will retain chairmanship of the company, although Chan, Wang — the founder and chairwoman of cell phone maker HTC Corp. — and Providence Equity Partners chief executive Jonathan Nelson will also join the board.

Fong and TVB executive deputy chairman Norman Leung will also remain.