STX Progressing Towards Hong Kong IPO

Robert Simonds - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images

Reports surfaced Thursday that the studio plans to pursue an offering valuing it at $3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

Robert Simonds' STX Entertainment continues to pursue public listing options in Hong Kong, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that the studio is planning to raise around $500 million in an initial public offering in the first quarter of 2018. The listing would value the company at $3.5 billion, The Journal said.  

Sources close to STX's Chinese investors distanced themselves from those details, saying the timing and target valuation remain under discussion and have not been set. The company has yet to pick an investment bank partner for a Hong Kong listing, the sources added. The major international investment banks stationed in Hong Kong are known to be vying fervently for the business, however. 

STX declined to comment. 

STX is understood to be pursuing a listing in Hong Kong instead of New York because valuations in the Asian city tend to be higher, administration costs are far lower and the company wants to be more accessible to its many investors and relationships in greater China.

One of STX's earliest large investors was Chinese investment fund Hony Capital, which took an undisclosed stake in the company in 2014. Chinese film studio Huayi Bros. Media Corp. later provided hundreds of millions in slate financing, followed by investments from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings and Hong Kong telecom company PCCW

STX's next release is The Foreigner, which stars Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan and is set to bow Oct. 13. The studio is in various states of production on several features, including Aaron Sorkin's Molly's Game and A Bad Moms Christmas, the follow-up to its 2016 comedy hit Bad Moms, which earned $183.9 million worldwide.