IGN And Lionsgate Celebrate Comic-Con 2012 With 'The Expendables 2' (Photo : Getty Images)
Another Chinese company is into buying an overseas entertainment company. Recon Group, a conglomerate in China, is talking with Millennium Films to buy the company founded by Avi Lerner and Trevor Short in 1996.
Millennium Films is the producer of “The Expendables” franchise and “Olympus Has Fallen,” a genre movie. According to Bloomberg, Recon Wenyuan Cable Co., a subsidiary of the conglomerate listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, would be the ne to buy Millennium Films.
Recon, chaired by Tony Xia, is still on an acquisition mode after it bought for $101 million Aston Villa Football Club, the British soccer team, from the Cleveland Browns in 2016. But people familiar with the ongoing negotiations said there is no certainty the deal would push through.
Wenyuan Cable’s market value is estimated at $1.2 billion. Pending its acquisition of Millennium Films, trading of the company’s shares have been halted. Xia purchased in October Wenyuan Cable, which makes cables and wires, and is changing the company’s focus to entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Besides “Expendables 2” which was co-financed and distributed by Le Vision Pictures, a Beijing company. Millennium Film also produced in 2016 “Mechanic: Resurrection” which earned $49 million, and “London Has Fallen” which had a box-office result of $52 million in China.
If the buy-in would push through, Recon would add to the growing number of Chinese companies that had invested heavily in entertainment assets overseas. In 2016, the Dalian Wanda Group bought for $3.5 billion Legendary Entertainment and $1 billion Dick Clark Productions. In summer of 2016, Tang Media Pictures acquired IM Global and Alibaba Pictures Group acquired a stake in Amblin Entertainment owned by Steven Spielberg.
However, with the increase in number of entertainment assets owned by Chinese giants, it has led some American legislators to scrutinize the deals.