Seoul-based media giant CJ ENM
reiterated April 17 that it is not taking an acquisition of Dexter Studios
into consideration, months after a previous denial in January.
“(CJ ENM) is not pursuing an acquisition of Dexter Studios,” CJ ENM said in a regulatory filing April 17.
“But (CJ ENM) is taking many options, from financial investment to strategic partnership, into account to strengthen contents production capacity (with Dexter Studios) for TV series and films.”
Dexter Studios also said in a filing, “(Dexter Studios) has been in talks to cooperate with CJ ENM to grow our business, but it is not true that the acquisition by CJ ENM is on the table.”
A promotional image for "Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds," which received investment from Dexter Studios. Courtesy of Madman Films
The disclosures came as the Korea Exchange on April 16 ordered both CJ ENM and Dexter Studios to explain rumors or media reports before April 17 at noon.
On April 16, a local media outlet reported that CJ ENM will secure an acquisition deal by June and complete the transaction as early as in September. Dexter Studios, trading on the second-tier bourse Kosdaq, hit the price ceiling the same day following the news. Its stock price severely fluctuated, drifting down 15.7 percent in closing from the previous day on April 17.
In January, CJ ENM denied rumors that it had been planning to buy Dexter Studios.
Dexter Studios, founded in 2011 by filmmaker and screenwriter Kim Yong-hwa, is a leading visual effects studio in Korea by market share. Its presence as a contents investor has been growing with the success of hit film series “Along With the Gods.”
The company made a turnaround in 2018, logging a net profit of 2.8 billion won ($2.5 million) and 2.1 billion won in operating profit, from a net loss of 34.2 billion won and 21.9 billion won in operating losses for 2017.
By Son Ji-hyoung (email@example.com