The on-off initial public offering of China Film Group is on again. The China Securities Regulatory Commission said that it had given approval for the state-owned behemoth to list on the Shanghai stock market.
No timetable was given for the latest attempt to float the company, which has been seeking a share market listing since 2004. On at least three previous occasions IPO plans were blown off course by market and timing issues.
Similarly, there was no new detail from the company itself about the capital raising exercise. When the company last signaled an IPO attempt in April this year, CFG pointed to the raising of RMB4.6 billion from the sale of 467 million shares and that CITIC Securities is set as its underwriter.
Wary of turmoil in China’s share markets over the past year, the CSRC has previously paused the greenlighting of IPOs and fresh capital raising exercises. This time it said that it had given approval to 13 flotations and that they would raise a combined RMB9.1 billion.
If CFG’s fund raising targets are unchanged, it will be by far the biggest of the batch.
There is certain to be keen interest in the listing as entertainment shares have been among the most sought after in recent years. CFG is unique in that it holds a dominant position on film production, operates a massive cinema circuit and is one of the state-controlled duopoly players in the distribution of Hollywood’s revenue sharing imported movies.