Warner Bros. International Cinemas, the international cinema division of Warner Bros., and China Film Group said that CFG will take over three WBIC Cinemas in China.
Located in Chongqing, Changsha and Nanchang, all the three cinemas are the joint projects of WBIC and SZITIC Commercial Property Coompany.
In November 2006, WBIC announced that it must stop its investments in cinemas due to a major regulatory change. Warner Bros. says it 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.
The equity transfer agreement was signed by CFG, WBIC, and SZITIC on January 19, 2007. According to the agreement, WBIC and SZITIC will both sell the totality of their shares to CFG, and CFG will become the sole owner of the 3 cinemas. The agreement is still pending to the approval of the Chinese government, and the process is expected to take approximately 60 working days.
Ding Liye, general manager from SZITIC, said, "We have every reason to believe that the cinemas will sustain its leading role in the market and attract more and more audiences."
After the hand-over, all Warner Bros. Intellectual Properties and Warner logos will be removed from the cinemas and the cinemas will be no longer named by Warner Bros.