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News Corp to buy Nasdaq-listed Chinese film distributor

May. 16, 2012 (China Knowledge) - News Corp, the owner of 20th Century Fox film studio, will acquire a 19.9% stake in Nasdaq-listed Bona Film Group Ltd<BONA>, a leading Chinese film distributor, directly from the Chinese firm's founder and CEO Yu Dong.

In a statement, Bona Film unveiled the sales plan without disclosing financial details.

In connection with the agreement, Yu has reached separate deals to buy 1 million Bona Film shares each from SIG China Investments One Ltd and Matrix Partners China Funds, along with 1.5 million shares from the Sequoia Funds, for US$5.70 per American Depositary Share.

Upon the completion of these deals, which are expected to close in the next 15 days, Yu would hold 8.21 million Bona Film shares, excluding his options to buy 545,615 shares, accounting for 27% of Bona Film's outstanding stock.

News Corp expects to tap Bona Film's vertical business model in China via the acquisition, said Jack Gao, senior vice president of News Corp.

China's box-office revenue increased 29% to RMB 13.1 billion last year, mainly boosted by imported films from Hollywood, according to China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

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