Barco joins forces with China Film Co., Appotronics and CITICPE
Barco has reached an agreement to enter into a strategic joint venture with China Film Co. Ltd., Appotronics and CITICPE. The joint venture will serve as the dedicated commercialization systems channel for each company’s products and services for the global cinema market excluding Mainland China.
Leveraging Barco’s market leadership in the cinema market and aggregating the strengths and capabilities of each partner, the joint venture will provide exhibitors and partners a comprehensive portfolio of cinema technology systems, products and services, including Barco’s visualization and image processing technology for the cinema market; Appotronics’ laser technology and light source retrofit modules; CFG’s premium cinema systems and content; CITICPE’s financial consulting services; and business models to facilitate the exhibitor’s decision to upgrade to new technologies, including flexible financing options, uptime insurance and operational partnerships.
The joint venture is expected to become effective during the second quarter of 2018 after customary regulatory approvals have been obtained and following consultation with the relevant social and governmental entities. In a first phase, Barco and Appotronics will start cooperating on selling retrofit modules and projection equipment followed by the addition of CITICPE and CFG’s premium systems later in the year.
Under the terms of the agreement, the partners plan to capitalize the joint venture in the amount of $100 million. Once all partners have entered the joint venture, Barco will own 55% of the joint venture, Appotronics and CFG will each own 20% and CITICPE will own 5%.
Wim Buyens, General Manager of Barco’s Entertainment division for the past seven years, will be appointed as CEO of the joint venture.
Barco will serve as a strategic OEM partner for the joint venture, while retaining full ownership of assets and capabilities related to product management, R&D and manufacturing of all cinema projection and image-processing technologies.
Barco plans to spin out its current cinema-related sales, marketing and services functions from its Entertainment division into this new joint venture.