China’s Tang Media Near Deal To Acquire Open Road Films

By Anita Busch, Patrick Hipes

Aug. 2, 7:07 PM: Chinese conglomerate Tang Media Partners is near a deal to acquire its second big Hollywood company. The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that it will acquire Open Road Films, the producer-distributor formed in 2011 by exhibition rivals Regal and AMC and which released the Oscar Best Picture winner Spotlight and the animated family film The Nut Job.

No financial details were disclosed, but we’ve heard since the end of May/beginning of June that the deal that was being discussed was for $2M and the assumption of debt. It was well-known that Tang Media was on the hunt to acquire a library; Deadline found out that it had zeroed in on Open Road early on. When Deadline asked specifically about an Open Road acquisition earlier this summer, it was denied that talks were taking place.

When AMC — which just had a devastating second quarter — eventually decided to get Open Road off its books, they brought in Tang after rebuffing his overtures twice, sources told us.

Topped by Donald Tang and backed by big Chinese media companies including Internet giant Tencent, Tang acquired Stuart Ford’s sales-finance outfit IM Global in June of last year. That deal including the launch of a TV joint venture with Tencent to produce and distribute content under the existing IM Global TV banner.

The WSJ said the Open Road deal is expected to close this week, though it is not yet sealed. Open Road CEO would keep his current role, with Tang saying he would use the new company to release movies in both the U.S. and China.

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