The film production and distribution company mm2 Asia is acquiring a 50 per cent stake in the firm that holds the Golden Village Cinema business here.
The company is paying Village Cinemas Australia $184.3 million for the stock, mm2 Asia said in an exchange filing yesterday. The deal is to be completed by July 21.
Village Cinemas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Village Roadshow, which is listed in Australia.
It owns a 50 per cent stake in Dartina Development, an investment holding company incorporated in Hong Kong. This entity in turn holds, through its Singapore subsidiaries, the Golden Village Cinema business here.
The operator is Singapore's largest cinema chain, running 11 multiplexes housing 92 screens.
The Straits Times reported in 2015 that it took 42 per cent of box-office revenue here.
The acquisition fits mm2's strategy to "further strengthen its presence in the downstream value chain of film distribution", the Catalist firm said yesterday.
It believes the acquisition, which will be financed by bank borrowings, internal cash resources and fund-raising, will complement its cinema operations in Malaysia and provide a source of recurring income.
Mm2 announced in May that it will co-produce five films in partnership with media conglomerate Turner Asia Pacific over the next three years.
Their first release will be Wonder Boy, a biopic starring singer Benjamin Kheng in the role of singer-songwriter Dick Lee. Directed by Lee and Daniel Yam, the film is slated for release in August.
Two other family-oriented films and two by local box-office king Jack Neo are also in the works.
Mm2 was formed in Malaysia in 2008 and is now headquartered in Singapore.
In May, a unit of TV and online content producer mm2 Asia agreed to buy a 19.68 per cent stake in Cinema Pro, a Hong Kong cinema management company, for HK$4 million, giving mm2 a foothold in North Asia's cinema industry.