Carlyle Consortium Backs GDC

A Carlyle Group -led consortium, consisting of Yunfeng Capital, a private equity fund backed by Alibaba.com Ltd founder Jack Ma, has acquired an about 80 percent stake in GDC Technology, an Asian provider of servers for digital cinemas, reported Reuters. The Carlyle consortium paid about $75 million for the stake, said Reuters.

(Reuters) A Carlyle Group -led consortium has acquired an about 80 percent stake in GDC Technology, Asia’s largest provider of servers for digital cinemas, the global private equity fund said on Monday.

The Carlyle consortium, consisting of Yunfeng Capital, a private equity fund backed by Alibaba.com Ltd founder Jack Ma, paid about $75 million (47 million pounds) for the stake, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. The stake was bought from shareholders including Hong Kong tycoon Li-Ka Shing, the source said.

Emerging markets are expected to experience the fastest growth in digital movie theatres. GDC has more than 6,800 installed servers in Asia and is the biggest provider in China, with a 54 percent market share.

The source declined to be identified because details of the transaction were private.

GDC was founded by Man-Nang Chong in Hong Kong 12 years ago and ranks second globally in terms of installed servers, with operations in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

Chong would remain a significant shareholder, Carlyle said.

Carlyle invested in GDC through Carlyle Asia Growth Partners IV, a $1 billion fund targeting high-growth companies.

Digitalisation of worldwide movie screens has grown from 11 percent at the end of 2009 to 25 percent in the first quarter of 2011, according to Screen Digest.

(Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Chris Lewis)