China company scraps deal for Hollywood’s Millennium Films

Recon Group CEO Tony Xia attends a news conference for Recon Group’s acquisition of football club Aston Villa in Beijing July 18, 2016. — Reuters picRecon Group CEO Tony Xia attends a news conference for Recon Group’s acquisition of football club Aston Villa in Beijing July 18, 2016. — Reuters picSHANGHAI, Aug 31 — Recon Wenyuan Cable Co, a wire and cable company controlled by businessman Tony Xia, has scrapped plans to buy US-based Millennium Films amid a government campaign to discourage some overseas purchases.

Instead, Xia will pursue the deal through an unspecified unlisted entity, he said in a Twitter post today.

Recon Wenyuan said it and the seller had agreed not to pursue the deal, because the transaction cannot be completed by a deadline set at August 31, according to a regulatory statement today. Recon Wenyuan will instead pursue “strategic cooperation” with Millennium Films, according to the statement.

Recon Group representatives declined to comment beyond Wenyuan’s statement. Xia couldn’t be reached for comment.



Recon Wenyuan shares fell 1.3 per cent to close at 9.35 yuan (RM6.05) in Shenzhen trading today.

Chinese authorities heightened their campaign to curb some overseas deals this month as part of a drive to reduce leverage and risk in the financial system. The restrictions target companies making investments abroad in areas such as real estate, hotels, entertainment and sports clubs.

In February, Recon Wenyuan had announced it would buy 51 per cent of the US movie producer for as much as US$100 million (RM427 billion), confirming a Bloomberg News report.

Founded in 1996 by Avi Lerner and Trevor Short, Los Angeles-based Millennium Films produced the three Expendables movies, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. The company produces, finances and handles international sales for five to eight star-driven movies a year, generally with budgets of between US$20 million and US$80 million, according to its website.

Last year, Xia’s Recon Group bought the UK’s Aston Villa football team from former Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner. — Bloomberg

Source: The Malay Mail Online





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