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Takeover of Korea's MK Pictures

2007/07/12 Source

The founders of major Korean film industry player MK Pictures, director Kang Je-gyu, CEO LEE Eun and president SHIM Jae-myeong, announced that they have sold their shares, worth 29% of the company, to a group of five investors. The group, headed by KIM Young-kun, paid US$16.3 billion for a controlling stake in the company.

MK Pictures, which put its shares on the stock market only 3 years ago, has in its catalogue some of the defining films in the rise of New Korean Cinema. Included are Kang Je-gyu's landmark local blockbuster "Shiri" and his follow-up "Taegukgi", as well as Park Chan-wook's "JSA - Joint Security Area". Recent titles by MK include "A Good Lawyer's Wife", "Bloody Tie", and "The President's Last Bang" and "The Fox Family".

The investors consortium, headed by KIM, are associated with network television which may have strong implications for MK's future output. KIM is CEO of regional cable network operator Kang Won TV, based in Kangwon Province. KANG, LEE, and SHIM will see through current MK productions, which include "Forever the Moment" and animated feature "YIPSAK: A Chicken Wild".

MK recently joined hands with China's Poly Bona to build and operate multiplexes in Beijing. The company intends to continue expansion with a focus on film production, marketing and sales.

Nigel D'Sa (KOFIC)

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