The Seoul-based CJ CGV Ltd is planning to buy a controlling share of Megastar Media Company (Megastar), Vietnam's leading cinema owner and film distributor, according to Film Business Asia.
CJ CGV will spend 73.6 million USD to buy a 92-percent share in Virgin Islands-registered Envoy Media Partners, which owns an 80-percent share of Megastar. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next four weeks.
Other shares of Megastar are owned by Phuong Nam Corporation, a Vietnamese publishing and entertainment company.
Megastar, which opened its first cinema in Hanoi in 2006, operates seven multiplexes and 54 screens in Hanoi , Hai Phong, HCM City and Dong Nai province. Last year, Megastar held a 60-percent turnover of the market's box office and earned revenues of 23 million USD. Its current assets reached 38 million USD.
The Vietnamese film industry has been growing fast in recent years, with the box office receipts from 150 cinema screens increasing at around 20 percent per year.
The market has grown from an annual 2 million USD in 2006 to 25 million USD in 2010, including 5 million USD in ticket sales from Vietnamese productions, reported by Film Business Asia.
As the leading exhibitor in the Republic of Korea , the CJ CGV has operated 75 multiplex movie theatres with 610 screens nationwide. It opened a multiplex in Koreantown Los Angeles and five others in China . The group opened its representative office in HCM City early this year and aims to expand its business in Vietnam .
Its competitor, Lotte Shopping/Lotte Entertainment in 2008, bought Diamond Cinema Joint Venture Co (DMC), a RoK cinema chain operating six multiplexes in HCM City and Da Nang City.