Millennium Principals Avi Lerner and Trevor Short Will Continue To Lead The Management Team
[BEIJING] [LOS ANGELES], February 23, 2017 – Recon Holding (SZSE：002692), a Chinese public listed company, announced an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Millennium Films, one of the world’s leading independent film production companies. Under the terms of the agreement, Recon Holding will acquire a 51% majority ownership stake in Millennium Films for $100 million (RMB 688 million). Recon Holding is controlled by Recon Group, a multinational conglomerate which owns the Aston Villa Football Club and is led by Dr. Tony Jiantong Xia.
Best known for its franchise properties The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and Rambo, Millennium has generated over $1.2 billion (RMB 8.2 billion) in worldwide box office revenues since 2011. The company’s upcoming film slate includes The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L, Jackson; Escobar, starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz; and Hunter Killer, starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman.
Under the terms of the deal, Recon Holding will acquire a majority ownership interest in Millennium Films, including its nearly 300-film library. Avi Lerner will act as Chief Executive Officer of Millennium Films, while Trevor Short will serve as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Tony Xia, Chairman of Recon Group and the Aston Villa Football Club, will serve as Chairman of Millennium Films. Recon Holding will have the opportunity to acquire the remaining 49% shareholding in the future.
“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.
About Millennium Films
Founded in 1992 by Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Danny Dimbort, and Danny Lerner, Millennium, which is best known for its franchise properties The Expendables, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and Rambo, has generated over $1.2 billion (RMB 8.2 billion) in worldwide box office revenues since 2011. The company has a film library of nearly 300 titles, one of the largest independent film libraries in the world, and produces, finances and handles international sales for 5-8 star-driven movies per year, generally with budgets between $20 million and $80 million.
About Recon Holding
Recon Holding (SZ:002692, Recon Wenyuan Cable Co.,Ltd), was founded in 2001 and is based in Yixing, China. The company was initially listed in Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2012, principally involved in two categories of business: the development, production and distribution of motion picture, TV series, sports events and shows, and other leisure products; and the design, research, development, production and distribution of wires and cables mainly applied in the electric power, transportation, airport, metallurgy, construction, machinery and other industries.
About Recon Group
Recon Group is a multinational conglomerate group led by Dr. Tony Jiantong Xia. The group holding company owns, directly and indirectly, the shares of several publicly listed companies on the Hong Kong and Chinese stock exchanges and many other private companies employing more than 35,000 people across 75 countries. Recon Group has been at the forefront of China’s broader urbanization initiative and holds an estimated 40% market share of the Digital City business sector. Recon Group’s six core business sectors include (i) IT infrastructure and services for smart cities; (ii) health &agriculture; (iii)new energy &smart transportation; (iv)engineering &design; (v) financial services; and (vi) sports, leisure &tourism. Dr. Tony Jiantong Xia is the Chairman/CEO and owner of Recon Group.