IMAX is making a bid to acquire the outstanding 96.3 million shares in IMAX China, its Hong Kong based subsidiary that oversees its business in Greater China. Purchasing the remaining 28.4% of IMAX China that it doesn’t own will cost roughly USD $124 million, representing a 49% premium over the 30-day trading average of the subsidiary.
The proposed acquisition of IMAX China will enable greater operational flexibility to pursue new growth opportunities and applications of IMAX technology in the Chinese market. IMAX China was established as a subsidiary of IMAX Corporation in 2011. IMAX China attracted financial partners in the market to help drive growth and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in October 2015. Today, there are more than 770 IMAX commercial locations in Greater China — the most of any market in the world.
If the shareholders of both countries, not to mention government authorities, approve the transaction the deal should be closed by the end of 2023. When asked about the political and economic tensions which currently exist between China and the west, Rich Gelfond, the CEO of IMAX said the company has good relations with the Chinese government and sees prospects in the country improving, “Hollywood films are securing release dates in China with increasing consistency,” he said. “We consistently deliver double-digit opening weekend box office market share on Hollywood releases, even though we are on 1% of screen penetration in China.”