Singapore’s EDBI backs CITIC Capital-backed Cityneon Holdings

Commercial buildings in the central business district are illuminated at dusk in Singapore. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), has made a strategic investment in Cityneon Holdings, according to an announcement.

The investment sum was not disclosed. Cityneon is a Singapore-based company focused on interior design, events, and exhibition experiences.

According to a statement, EDBI joins other shareholders such as Johnson Ko, Cityneon’s Group CEO and executive chairman, and CITIC Capital Holdings, an affiliate of CITIC Group – one of China’s largest conglomerates – to become a part of the company.

Cityneon has been expanding its pool of capital to facilitate its expansion plans. The company recently concluded syndicated loans led by BNP Paribas, Hang Seng Bank and United Overseas Bank. CITIC Capital recently invested new shares in Cityneon in May.

Ron Tan, executive chairman and group CEO of the Group said: “Today, approximately 90% of the Group’s profits are derived from outside of Singapore.  We intend to step up our pace of expansion.”

Cityneon will enter new markets including Scotland, India, UAE and China. It will also expand its Singapore headquarters by setting up a new creative office, in addition to existing ones in Los Angeles and Las Vegas in the United States.

Cityneon’s Group chief creative officer, Welby Altidor, will be relocating to Singapore in 2020 to direct its global creative efforts in experience entertainment.

Cityneon is also expected to partner with new studios in coming months for new intellectual properties (IPs) which will grant it the right to curate, create and construct experiences for visitors. Its partner studios include The Walt Disney Company, Marvel, Hasbro, Universal Studios, and Lionsgate.

Chu Swee Yeok, CEO and President of EDBI said: “The company will leverage EDBI’s strong technology network for new innovations including mixed reality and consumer analytics to complement their good mastery of animatronics. We look forward to Cityneon’s contributions to enhance Singapore’s attractiveness as a destination for immersive events while strengthening our design capabilities.”

EDBI’s investment in Cityneon comes under its Strategic Growth Programme, which supports high growth Singapore-based companies in their expansion plans. This programme covers a wide range of sectors EDBI deems to be “high growth technology sectors”, including information & communication technology (ICT), emerging technology, and healthcare.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.