Shanghai-based China Media Capital Holdings (CMC) has acquired an undisclosed equity stake in Imagine Entertainment, Hollywood production house behind “Apollo 13”, “A Beautiful Mind”, and “The Da Vinci Code”.
Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
CMC, founded by Chinese media mogul Li Ruigang in 2009, is China’s first fund dedicated to media and entertainment investments domestically and internationally. Prior to this deal, CMC had made movie ventures with IMAX Corp and Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.
“Through the investment in Imagine Entertainment, we will team up with the top production team in Hollywood to further enter into the heartland of the world’s movie and television industries,” Li said in the statement.
This latest deal is part of an ongoing trend of Chinese investment in Hollywood, following on from Hunan TV’s relationship with Lionsgate, Huayi Brothers‘ pact with STX Entertainment and most recently Wanda’s $3.5 billion acquisition of Legendary Entertainment, and Perfect World Pictures investment in a slate of movies from Universal.
The investment will enable China’s movie production industry to enter the global stage, as well as to help promote Chinese culture globally. In return, the capital injection will support Imagine to further expand its creative footprint and seek to diversify its entertainment businesses.
Imagine Entertainment, founded in 1986 by film and television producer Brian Grazer and director, producer and actor Ron Howard, has been honoured with more than 60 awards including 10 Academy Awards and 40 Emmy awards.
A global merchant bank The Raine Group, which has in excess of $2 billion in assets under management, and British advertising and public relations firm WPP Group also invested in Imagine Entertainment.
Last year, a CMC led-consortium paid $400 million for a 13-per-cent stake in City Football Group. CMC also holds stakes in Hong Kong broadcaster TVB and is also building a Legoland theme park in Shanghai.