The now-private, former NASDAQ-listed film studio takes on a new investor.
One of China’s biggest developers, Macrolink Group, has agreed to invest RMB 150 million (US$22.13 million) in entertainment company Bona Film Group, the companies announced Monday.
The deal between the sprawling conglomerate and the Beijing-based film studio and distributor will see the two companies produce and distribute films and television shows together.
Founded in 1990, Macrolink Group has grown into a massive conglomerate with interests in mining, real estate, liquor, petroleum and finance. The company is a large shareholder in five banks in China. It now has over 80 subsidiaries, and 6 listed companies, according to its website.
In August the conglomerate invested $50 million in LeEco’s smart car unit that aims to create an electric car sharing platform and an automobile e-commerce arm.
Bona Film Group films include the Tsui Hark film The Taking of Tiger Mountain and more recently Operation Mekong. Mekong has already pulled in RMB 1.05 billion ($154.91 million) at the box office.
The company delisted from NASDAQ earlier this year. In December Bona CEO Yu Dong joined a consortium to take Bona private with Alibaba Pictures, Sequoia Capital and Fosun International. Other partners include Tencent affiliate Willow Investment, Fosun affiliate Orrick Investments, SAIF Partners and All Gain Ventures.
Yu indicated earlier this year that the company will relist on China’s A-share market within three years. Despite its retreat from an American bourse, the company still has designs on the US market, and began operations in its Los Angeles office in May.
Last November, Bona announced a $235 million investment in The Seelig Group (TSG Entertainment Finance), that netted it a slice of six 20th Century Fox productions, including The Martian, Independence Day 2, X-Men: Apocalypse, and War For The Planet Of The Apes.
Bona also has put money into Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, co-financed with Jeff Robinov’s Fosun-backed Studio 8. That film will open in China on November 11.
Additional reporting by Qingyuan Wang