China-focused PE FountainVest picks up minority stake in HK-listed Maoyan

FILE PHOTO: The website of Chinese movie ticketing app Maoyan is seen next to the app on a mobile phone in this illustration picture taken September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Florence Lo

China-focused private equity fund FountainVest Partners on Wednesday announced that it has acquired a significant minority stake in Hong Kong-listed integrated entertainment service platform Maoyan Entertainment.

A representative of FountainVest was appointed by the Maoyan board as a non-executive director, effective January 15, 2020. Maoyan CEO Zheng Zhihao co-invested in the transaction in his personal capacity, according to a statement.

FountainVest raised the stakes in the Chinese entertainment market as the total revenues of the market reached 1.7 trillion yuan ($247 million) in 2018 and are projected to hit 3.2 trillion yuan ($464 million) in 2022, according to market research consultancy iResearch.

Its robust growth is being driven by the development of technology and the mobile internet, consumption upgrade and growing spending power, and increasingly diversified and personalized entertainment formats.

“Starting from its initial business in online entertainment ticketing, Maoyan has grown into a leading integrated entertainment service platform with multiple drivers for growth,” said George Chuang, co-president of FountainVest, in a statement.

Founded in 2012, Maoyan upgraded the business strategy in early 2019 to focus on the development of five key platform pillars: an online ticketing platform, a products and services platform, a data platform, a marketing platform and a funding platform. It has since provided marketing services and data insights to 43 hit movies, such as The Wandering Earth, My People, My Country, and Ip Man 4: The Finale.

According to QuestMobile, Maoyan’s app is the top ticketing mobile application in China. Its multi-mini program ecosystem has accumulated over 250 million users, while the digital media network has grown to more than 200 million followers, according to the statement.

Maoyan raised HK$1.82 billion ($234 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Tencent owned about 16.3 per cent of Maoyan ahead of the offering and Meituan Dianping owned about 8.6 per cent at the time.

FountainVest, led by former Goldman Sachs Group banker Frank Tang, is a major investor in China’s media and entertainment space. The company backed movie-screen company IMAX Corp.’s China division, Finnish sportswear firm Amer Sports, which was bought by a consortium led by China’s Anta Sports in early 2019, and out-of-home advertising network Focus Media, which the firm helped take private from the United States and relist on China’s domestic stock market.

The company closed its maiden RMB-denominated fund at 1.7 billion yuan ($247 million) in December 2018, adding to the previous three USD-denominated China-focused vehicles the firm raised since its inception in 2007. It has over $4.5 billion in total assets under management (AUM).

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.

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.