Paramount’s China Deal ‘On Track’ With Increased Slate Financing From Partners, Viacom CFO Says

Shanghai Film Group and Huahua Media were originally going to commit 25 percent — now they’re doing 30 percent

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Viacom’s Paramount deal with its Chinese partners is still a go — and the U.S.-based media company claims it will be even getting some more money from the transaction.

Paramount’s $1 billion slate financing deal with China’s Huahua Media “remains on track” and “is in operation,” Viacom CFO Wade Davis said Thursday morning on a conference call tied to his company’s second-quarter earnings, adding: “The partners have elected to upsize their commitment from 25 percent to 30 percent.”

The deal was previously reported to be in danger after a planned acquisition of Huahua was pushed back due to regulatory issues, which TheWrap exclusively reported in March.

Oriental Times Media had agreed to acquire Huahua, which has been a financial and marketing partner on several Paramount films including “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” for 1.1 billion yuan (about $158 million) in November.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission released 47 questions about the deal in late December. OTM withdrew its offer on March 9, according to a Chinese report provided to TheWrap. At the time, its stock’s trading on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange was halted.

“The delay or even cancellation of this transaction will most likely prevent Huahua from funding the Paramount slate deal,” an individual with knowledge of the deal told us back then.

But Viacom executives reiterated on Thursday that the deal is still moving forward — a project that has been a main focus of the company’s new leadership team.