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Imperium Crown increases acquisition stake in GEM to 60%

SINGAPORE Exchange Catalist-listed Imperium Crown is upping its acquisition stake in Global Entertainment Media (GEM) to 60 per cent, for a purchase consideration of S$53.5 million, it said on Thursday.

The real estate developer and property investment company had, on Feb 27, proposed only a 27 per cent stake in GEM for S$20 million.

GEM is a group of arts and entertainment companies with offices in Los Angeles, California and Beijing, China.

Through its subsidiary Fei County Wonder Stone Characteristic Town Development, GEM secured an additional 10-year operating rights to Wonder Stone Park, a historical park showcasing uniquely formed, naturally occurring stone boulders and rocks native to the Shandong region in China.

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GEM, which owns a 80 per cent stake in Fei County Wonder Stone, now holds a 50-year operating rights in the park.

GEM also owns a hotel situated within the park.

Commenting on the rationale to increase Imperium Crown's acquisition stake in GEM, its executive chairman and chief executive officer Wan Jinn Woei said that the park is an attractive new project for Imperium Crown, "given the rising popularity of cultural tourism in China and the park's well-developed infrastructure and amenities".

"Increasing our stake in GEM reflects our confidence in the park's tourism potential and also our intention to deepen our involvement in the operations and assets under GEM. This allows us to better anticipate and address any risks arising from the localisation of operations there," he added.

The long-stop date for the proposed acquisition has been extended to end September, and the purchase consideration for the group's enlarged stake in GEM will be funded by a combination of proceeds raised from capital fund raising and/or bank financing, and the company's internal funds.

Imperium Crown will be convening an extraordinary general meeting to seek shareholders' approval for the proposed acquisition.