Friday, November 13, 2015

GTH to disband amid stock market conflict

Surprising news to report today as GTH, the eminently successful Thai movie studio, is set to dissolve amid conflict between partners over whether to take the company public.

A statement was posted on the company's website, and Khaosod English has a translation:

According to the online statement, Hub Ho Hin “believes the company is not yet ready to enter stock market within the next 1-3 years” because doing so may cause a financial pressure that affects the company’s creativity and work quality.

“Every side has tried to initiate dialogue and negotiation to find a solution for a long time, but cannot reach a conclusion on the shared objective of the company,” the statement says. “Therefore, we unanimously agree that if our works continue without finding a conclusion, it will cause damages to all sides involved.”

It went on, “GMM Tai Hub Ltd (GTH) subsequently agreed jointly to cease all operations of the company, effective on 31 December 2015 onward.”

Formed in 2004, GTH was a merger of three companies – GMM Pictures, Tai Entertainment and Hub Ho Hin. They came together as GMM Tai Hub, with the massive success of a co-production, the hit 2003 childhood friendship drama Fan Chan (My Girl). It set the formula that GTH films more or less followed, with hallmarks that included "feel good" stories, squeaky clean characters, polished production values and an easily recognizable roster of attractive, bankable stars.

Subsequent features included the horror smash Shutter, the critically acclaimed romance Puen Sanit (Dear Dakanda) and the coming-of-age epic The Tin Mine.

Recent hits include the box-office record-setter Pee Mak Phra Khanong, and this year's indie-feel romantic comedy-drama Freelance and the teen comedy May Who?

At the heart of the conflict is the company's domineering honcho, veteran show-business executive Visute Poolvoralaks, whose Tai Entertainment forms the "T" in GTH, and producer, writer and director Jira Maligool, who brought his more indie-leaning Hub-Ho-Hin into the corporate fold.

This story just broke! There is further coverage in the Thai press, including Thai Rath and entertainment website Sanook.

Update: Film Business Asia now has the story.

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