Vista Group Increases Stake in China

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Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:10 -- Nick Dager

Cinema software firm Vista Group International has bought back 7.9 per cent of its Chinese entity for $7.7 million, leaving it with 47.5 per cent of the business and allowing it to treat the division as a controlled entity within the group.

Vista reached an agreement with its Chinese partner China's Beijing Weying Technology Co (WePiao), whose backers include the Wechat/Tencent Group, that the time was right for Vista to increase its stake and play a greater part in the future of the Vista China business.

Vista and WePiao announced the joint venture in China in March 2016, with Vista providing distribution rights to all of its existing software, and WePiao buying Vista Group shares.

WePiao is backed by Tencent Holdings, along with the China Cultural Investment Fund and other investors, including some leading Chinese cinema chains. Its smart phone ticketing application is embedded in the WeChat messaging app, which has more than 600 million monthly active users, mainly in China.

Vista Group and WePiao now own 47.5 percent of the business each, the company said. The cost, based on the 2016 valuation of Vista China, has been offset against what WePiao still owes Vista from the original equity purchase.