Recon Acquires Majority Stake In Millenium

Public-listed China-based Recon Holding has reportedly acquired the majority interest in the independent film staple, Millennium Films according to a new press announcement. News of the deal in its development began circulating as early as last week.

The terms of the deal confirm that Recon Holding's 51% acquisition majority ownership stake in Millennium Films for $100 million (RMB 688 million) and its 300-film library with the option to acquire the remaining 49% thereafter. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short, who founded Millenium as a subsidiary of Nu Image in 1996, are remaining on board as Chief Executive Officer and  Millennium Films and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, while Recon Chairman Dr. Tony Xia will serve as Chairman of Millennium Films.

The company is best known for its franchise properties including Rambo as well as The Expendables which is on deck to shoot a fourth installment this year, and the Gerard Butler led 'Fallen franchise which will continue with Angel Has Fallen. Millenium has accumulated 1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office since 2011, and has a slate that extends more with titles, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L, Jackson, the Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz-led Escobar and Butler's forthcoming novel adaptation, Hunter Killer with Gary Oldman.

“We are excited about our new partnership with Recon Holding led by Tony” said Messers. Lerner and Short. “China is emerging as the world’s largest market for premium filmed entertainment, and we see enormous value in placing the Chinese market at the forefront of our global strategy. Our films have experienced considerable success in China and in other markets around the world, and we feel there is significant value in partnering with an astute, experienced, and well-connected partner to help us execute our long-term strategy of making commercial movies for the global market place.”

“Since Avi and his partners founded the company, the Millennium Films organization has created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property that resonates with audiences on a global scale,” said Tony Xia, Chairman of Recon Group and Aston Villa Football Club. “We believe Millennium’s unparalleled portfolio of motion picture franchises and intellectual property provides significant opportunities for long-term growth as the company continues to maximize the value of its creative properties across multiple platforms and in multiple territories. This is an incredible opportunity for us to build upon Millennium’s premium brand by accessing a film market in China that continues to experience a period of unprecedented growth.”

The transaction is expected to close during Q2 of 2017, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Millennium Films was advised by The Raine Group and Latham & Watkins LLP. Amir Malin of Qualia Capital also provided advice and counsel. Recon Holding was advised by China International Capital Corporation and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.


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