China's Recon eyes $100 million deal for U.S. movie producer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese cable maker Recon Wenyuan Cable Co Ltd 002692.SZ is set to snap up a majority stake in a U.S. movie production company for up to $100 million, the company said in a statement on Wednesday, without naming the target.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that Recon, controlled by the business mogul who bought British soccer club Aston Villa last year, was in talks to buy Millennium Film, the studio behind “The Expendables”.

Recon said the deal for a 51 percent stake in the U.S. studio would be carried out via wholly-owned Hong Kong subsidiary Sure Lead Holding Ltd, marking a further push by China to increase its presence in Hollywood.

“The target company is a independent film production company set up in the United States focused on film production, movie making and investment,” Recon said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange.

The firm’s shares, which have been suspended since late January, will restart trading on Thursday, it added.

Two Chinese movie companies, Shanghai Film Group (SFG) and Huahua Media, said last month they would invest $1 billion in productions by Viacom Inc's VIAB.O Paramount Pictures.

Reuters could not immediately reach Millennium Films for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by David Holmes