mm2 Asia fails in bid for 50% stake in Golden Village

Golden Village is Singapore's largest cinema chain with 92 screens across 11 cineplexes, and a 12th is set to open later this year. It commands about 40 per cent of box office revenue here.
Golden Village is Singapore's largest cinema chain with 92 screens across 11 cineplexes, and a 12th is set to open later this year. It commands about 40 per cent of box office revenue here.PHOTO: DTZ

Would-be seller fails to get approval from owner of other half share in cinema business

Catalist-listed mm2 Asia said its bid to acquire a 50 per cent share of the Golden Village cinema chain in Singapore for $184.25 million has fallen through after the owner of the other half-share in the business did not approve it.

mm2 Asia last month said it had signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Village Cinemas Australia to buy the latter's 50 per cent stake in Dartina Development, which holds the Golden Village cinema business in Singapore.

The agreement was conditional on, among other things, Village Cinemas Australia securing the approval of Golden Screen, which owns the other 50 per cent share in Dartina, by July 21.

That approval was not obtained, and the acquisition therefore did not take place.

mm2 Asia said in a stock exchange filing before market opened yesterday that it was in discussions with Village Cinemas Australia on their available options.

Golden Village is Singapore's largest cinema chain with 92 screens across 11 cineplexes, and a 12th is set to open later this year. It commands about 40 per cent of box office revenue here.

Last month, StarHub raised its stake in mm2 Asia to 9.8 per cent from 8.4 per cent with what it called a "strategic investment" of $15 million in mm2 shares, affirming its position as mm2 Asia's biggest corporate shareholder. mm2 Asia had said it intended to use the net proceeds from the share sale for its Golden Village acquisitions as well as new productions.

Asked if the failed purchase had any impact on its strategy, StarHub said: "Our investment in mm2 Asia is on the strength of all its lines of business and its regional footprint. We remain the company's single largest corporate shareholder."

mm2 Asia announced this year it will be co-producing five films with media conglomerate Turner Asia Pacific over the next three years.

Their first release will be Wonder Boy, a biopic starring Benjamin Kheng in the role of singer-songwriter Dick Lee. Directed by Lee and Daniel Yam, the film is slated for release next month.

Two other family-oriented films and two films by local box-office king Jack Neo are also in the works.

mm2 Asia shares ended the day three cents or 5.4 per cent lower at 52.5 cents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2017, with the headline 'mm2 Asia fails in bid for 50% stake in Golden Village'. Print Edition | Subscribe