China Film Group takes over 3 Warner cinemas

MUMBAI: China Film Group, a Chinese film industry player, will soon take over three Warner Bros International Cinemas (WBIC) in China.

WBIC is the international cinema division of Warner Bros. Located in Chongqing, Changsha and Nanchang, all three cinemas are the joint projects of WBIC and SZITIC Commercial Property Co. 

While Warner Bros remains committed to its other businesses in China, including local language film production, a home video joint venture, consumer products and studio stores all of which have different legal structures, business models and regulatory requirements, it had announced in November 2006 that WBIC would stop its investments in cinemas due to a major regulatory change. 

The equity transfer agreement was signed by CFG, WBIC, and SZITIC on 19 January 2007. According to the agreement, WBIC and SZITIC will both sell the totality of their shares to CFG, which will become the sole owner of the three cinemas. The agreement is still pending to the approval of the Chinese government, and the process is expected to take approximately 60 working days. 

After the hand-over, all Warner Bros Intellectual Properties and Warner logos will be removed from the cinemas and the cinemas will no longer be named by Warner Bros.