CMC, FountainVest Acquire 20% Of IMAX China

New York Stock Exchange-listed IMAX Corporation says Chinese private equity funds, CMC Capital Partners and FountainVest Partners, plan to acquire a 20% interest in its Greater China business for US$80 million, according to a company announcement.

IMAX’s China business, IMAX China (Holding), Inc., is to issue and sell 20% of its shares to the two Chinese investors.

The purchase price will be paid in two installments, each at US$40 million. The first payment is expected to close today. The second installment is to close in early 2015.

The move will eventually lead to an initial public offering of IMAX China, says the announcement.

The parties say they intend to work together to strengthen IMAX’s competitive position in China, including the continued expansion of IMAX’s theater network in China, and the performance of IMAX’s Hollywood and Chinese movies.

"We expect this strategic alliance, along with the strength of our existing relationships with Chinese partners like Wanda and TCL, will help us usher in the next phase of growth for IMAX in China," says IMAX Corp. CEO, Richard L. Gelfond.

IMAX’s screen count in China has doubled since 2011 to the current 173 screens. It has an additional 237 screens planned to be open as of December 31, 2013.

CMC Capital Partners and FountainVest will each appoint a director to IMAX China’s board.

CMC Capital Partners is founded by Li Ruigang, chairman and president of Shanghai Media Group.

Established in 2007, FountainVest has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The firm’s four founding members have all worked at Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, with CEO Frank Tang having served as head of Temasek’s China investments.

FountainVest raised US$1 billion for its first fund in 2008. Its second fund was raised in 2012 with US$1.35 billion.

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