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Hong Kong film tycoon to retire
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Raymond Chow, former chairman of Golden Harvest Entertainment Co. Ltd., the well-known blockbuster film maker in Hong Kong, declared that he will retire in three months after he completes his tenure as consultant in the restructured company, the Beijing Times reported on November 6.

Raymond Chow and his daughter hold a press conference to declare his retirement, Hong Kong, November 5, 2007.

Mr. Chow has said that his children will not succeed him as managers of Golden Harvest. A few days ago Mr. Chow sold 24.78 percent of the shares of his company to Chengtian Entertainment International Holdings Ltd., a two-year mainland entertainment provider. The shares went for HK$200 million.

The Hong Kong film tycoon said that he was too old to manage the business so he sold his holdings to Chengtian because they have similar business concepts. Chengtian announced that it plans to produce no less than 20 pictures annually in upcoming years in conjunction with a Hong Kong partner after acquiring Mr. Chow's firm.

The two companies will cooperate in film production, distribution, and cinema operations.

Established in 1970, Golden Harvest is well known for its popular kung-fu films, such as The Big Boss, starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan's The Accidental Spy. Chengtian Entertainment has become one of the fastest growing entertainment enterprises on the Chinese mainland. The company has been involved in large-scale productions, including Peter Chan's Warlord and John Woo's Red Cliff.

Major shareholders in Golden Harvest include the founder Raymond Chow, and Leonard Ho and Leung Fung. Additionally Li Ka-shing has a 17 percent shareholding while Norman Cheng Tung-hon, Chairman and Director of EMI, holds 12 percent of the shares. Jackie Chan has a five percent stake.

( by Wu Jin November 6, 2007)

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