GEG segues into exhibition

Buys first cineplex in China

NEW YORK -- Hong Kong-based Global Entertainment Group has moved into the cinema business, announcing the purchase of its first movie theater inside China.

The London-listed firm, which announced a $100 million film fund in March and then boarded Oliver Stone's "W" as a backer, said that subsidiary GEG Cinemas Holdings has purchased the Harbin Jin An Tian Ma Cinema in North East China.

Chairman Johnny Hon said the move is part of GEG's plans to acquire and develop a chain of multiplex cinemas across China to capitalize on the country's average annual boxoffice growth of 30% over the past three years.

GEG Cinemas paid 3.6 million yuan ($524,888) for 100% interest in Harbin Cinema, as it is known. The deal is subject to approval by the Ministry of Commerce in China.

Harbin Cinema is owner of a four-screen, 500-seat multiplex cinema in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province. From its opening in January 2007 through March 31, Harbin Cinema collected 3.1 million yuan in ticket sales, GEG said.