By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

Bona Film Group Secures Strategic Investment From News Corporation: Global Media Company to Purchase Minority Stake

BEIJING, May 13, 2012 — Bona Film Group Limited (Nasdaq:BONA), a leading film distributor and vertically integrated film company in China, today announced that the Company has secured a strategic investment from News Corporation.

Under the investment agreement, News Corporation will acquire a 19.9% equity stake in Bona directly from the Company’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, Mr. Dong Yu.

Mr. Yu has entered into separate agreements to acquire 1,000,000 Bona ordinary shares from SIG China Investments One, Ltd., 1,000,000 Bona ordinary shares from Matrix Partners China Funds and 1,500,000 Bona ordinary shares from the Sequoia Funds, at an average price of $11.40 per share, or $5.70 per American Depositary Share.

“We are thrilled to receive this strategic investment from News Corporation,” said Dong Yu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Bona Film Group Limited. “As one of the leading film distributors in China, we are committed to bringing the best quality Chinese films to broad
audiences around the world. News Corporation’s extensive global reach, investment and distribution will help accelerate our strategy to expand our global footprint.

“Since our IPO in 2010, we have developed our business significantly and we believe now is the time to diversify our ownership structure by introducing select strategic investors. This is an exciting period of growth for China’s film industry, and we look forward to exploring the international commercial opportunities for Chinese films with our new partner,” Mr. Yu concluded.

“One of Bona’s unique advantages is its vertically-integrated business model, which differentiates the Company from other film distributors in China,” said Dr. Jack Gao, SVP, News Corporation & CEO, News Corporation China Investments. “China’s film market is growing at a rapid pace, positioning the country to be the second largest film market following the United States, and Bona’s market leadership, compelling value proposition and tremendous growth potential make this an attractive opportunity for News Corporation.”

Following the close of these transactions, Mr. Yu’s ownership will be reduced to 8,210,803 ordinary shares (not including options to purchase 545,615 ordinary shares), representing approximately 27.0% of the Company’s ordinary shares outstanding. These transactions are expected to close in the next 15 days and are subject to customary closing conditions.

About Bona Film Group Limited

Bona Film Group Limited (Nasdaq:BONA) is a leading film distributor in China, with an integrated business model encompassing film distribution, film production, film exhibition and talent representation. Bona distributes films to Greater China, Korea, Southeast Asia, the United States and Europe, invests and produces movies in a variety of genres, owns and operates 13 movie theaters and manages a range of talented and popular Chinese artists.

For more information about Bona, please visit http://www.bonafilm.cn.

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch