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STX Entertainment Drops Plans for Hong Kong IPO

Company filed paperwork to sell on the Hong Kong stock exchange in April

Six months after filing paperwork for an IPO with the Hong Kong stock exchange, STX Entertainment has backed away from those plans, TheWrap has learned.

In a memo to employees that was provided to TheWrap, STX CEO Robert Simonds cited volatile political and market conditions in the region, as well as undisclosed better opportunities, for the company’s decision to allow its application on the Hong Kong exchange to lapse.

Simonds noted in particular recent deep declines for media and tech companies on the HK stock exchange, and said STX is in a strong financial position and can afford to wait until market conditions improve before trying again. Among those strengths, Simonds said the company has a positive cash flow and a cash balance of $160 million.

Simonds also indicated that since filing the paperwork in Hong Kong last April, STX was approached by international investors and has been presented with “two very compelling opportunities” that it considers more pressing than a Hong Kong IPO.

Simonds did not disclose the details of those opportunities in his memo — STX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

When filing paperwork, STX hoped to raise about $500 million through the IPO, according to an L.A. Times report at the time.

Founded in 2014 to be a leaner movie and TV production house focused on mid-budget features, STX’s most recent releases include “Peppermint,” “The Happytime Murders,” and “I Feel Pretty.”

The studio’s biggest domestic hit was the 2016 R-rated comedy “Bad Moms,” which grossed $113 million domestically. The Amy Schumer comedy “I Feel Pretty” earned $88 million earlier this year.

Reuters first reported the news.