Time Warner Seeks Japanese Investor

24 February 2009

TOKYO: Time Warner, the US media company, is looking to attract new investment into the Japanese cinema chain it co-owns with retail group Aeon, though the impact of the financial crisis means finding new stakeholders may be difficult.

Warner Bros, Time Warner's film unit, is looking to attract investment in the Warner Mycal chain, one of the company's wide-ranging cinema ventures that include arms in Abu Dhabi and Italy, as well as the Mann Theatre chain of Chinese cinemas in the US.

However, Japan's adverse economic climate is predicted by most analysts to make securing any equity for a potential deal highly complex.

Hyundai, which became the first company to launch a 3D TV set Japan, is also said to have been hit by low take-up rates, largely because of the lack of available content employing the new technology.

Natsumi Isobe, head of 3D broadcasting at BS11 Digital, the first channel to show programmes in three dimensions, said of the slow adoption rates by consumers that "someone has to go forward, which is why we have launched our service."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff