Embattled Vietnam public film studio to sell 75 percent stake: report

Thanh Nien News

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 A still image of a scene from war drama "Song cung lich su" (Living with History), produced by the Vietnam Feature Film Studio in 2014. File photo
After accumulating losses and piling up debts for many years, state-run Vietnam Feature Film Studio now looks to raise at least VND37.75 billion (US$1.69 million) from selling a stake of 75.5 percent to private investors.
The film studio, best known for war dramas including Vi tuyen 17 Ngay va Dem (17th Parallel, Nights and Days) (1973) and Bao gio cho den thang Muoi (When the Tenth Month Comes) (1984), will sell a 10.5 percent stake in an initial public offering this April 14, news website VnExpress reported on Monday.
The stake is equivalent to 525,000 shares which will be up for auction starting at VND10,200 per share, it said.
Another stake of 65 percent will be sold to Hanoi-listed Waterway Transportation JSC for VND32.5 billion ($1.45 million), according to the website.
Under the government's plan, the film studio will also sell a stake of 4.5 percent to its employees.
After going private, the studio plans to expand its activities to other sectors such as export and dining services, the website reported.
Founded in 1953, the film studio has 96 percent of its revenue come from the ticket sales of films produced in accordance with the government's orders.
As most of its films became box office flops in recent years, the studio accumulated losses of VND39.6 billion ($1.77 million), and piled up debts of VND46.6 billion ($2.08 million) as of September 30, 2014, VnExpress reported, citing the studio's latest figures.
One of the studio's biggest and latest flops, "Song cung lich su" (Living with History), was premiered in August 2014 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Vietnam's victory over French army in the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The screenings were halted just a few days later, as the VND21-billion film reportedly could not sell a single ticket.

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