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'Bad Moms' studio STX is said to be planning an IPO in Hong Kong in 2018

STX Entertainment, the Burbank film and television studio behind the comedy “Bad Moms,” is moving closer to a planned initial public offering in Hong Kong.

The 3-year-old studio is expected to raise about $500 million on the Hong Kong stock exchange early next year, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The company, led by Robert Simonds, its chairman and chief executive, has long signaled intentions to raise money from the public market in Hong Kong but financial details and timing have not been revealed.

The Wall Street Journal first reported details of the IPO on Wednesday. A representative of STX declined to comment.

An IPO by STX would fit a common pattern of companies hoping to capitalize on Chinese investors’ interest in entertainment. China Film Co., the state-backed film distributor, went public on the Shanghai stock exchange last year.

STX launched in 2014 with significant funding from Chinese and Silicon Valley investors and a bold plan to be the next major Hollywood studio. Its backers include private equity giant TPG Growth and China’s Hony Capital. The studio scored investments from Chinese technology giant Tencent and Hong Kong-based telecommunications firm PCCW about a year ago, said to value the company at $1.5 billion.

Though STX had a major hit with the 2016 comedy “Bad Moms,” many of its films have flopped, including “The Circle” and “The Space Between Us.” It most recently served as the domestic distributor of the big budget sci-fi film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” which bombed, although it was fully financed by French production company EuropaCorp.

The company’s next film, the Jackie Chan action-thriller “The Foreigner,” hits Chinese theaters this weekend, followed by an Oct. 13 release in the U.S. STX will distribute the sequel “A Bad Moms Christmas” Nov. 1 domestically. The first “Bad Mom” grossed $184 million in global box-office receipts.

ryan.faughnder@latimes.com

@rfaughnder

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