mm2's bid to acquire 50% of Golden Village cinema chain falls through

mm2 Asia's bid to acquire the share of Golden Village cinema chain for S$184.25 million has fallen through. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Catalist-listed mm2 Asia announced on Monday (July 24) that its bid to acquire a 50 per cent share of the Golden Village cinema chain in Singapore for S$184.25 million has fallen through after the owner of the other half-share in the business did not approve it.

mm2 Asia had announced on June 13 that 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, among others, on 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 its pre-market exchange filing that it was currently in discussions with Village Cinemas Australia on their available options.

Golden Village is Singapore's largest cinema chain with 92 screens across 11 cineplexes, with a 12th to open in Paya Lebar 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 S$15 million in mm2 shares, affirming its position as the mm2's biggest corporate shareholder. mm2 had said it intended to use the net proceeds from the share sale for its Golden Village acquisitions as well as new productions.

mm2 announced earlier 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 popular 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 films by local box-office king Jack Neo are also in the works under the new deal.

Shares of mm2 Asia were trading down 6.3 per cent at 52 Singapore cents as of 10.45am on Monday.

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