Skydance Media raises $275m from Redbird, CJ, Tencent, among others

A screenshot from the trailer of the multiple Academy Award-winning movie, Parasite

Skydance Media, a US production firm founded by film producer David Ellison, has raised $275 million in a strategic financing round from investors including Chinese gaming and social giant Tencent, according to a statement on Wednesday.

RedBird Capital Partners, a North America-based principal investment firm with over $3 billion of equity under management, anchored the new round. CJ Entertainment and Merchandising (CJ ENM), the South Korean studio behind the multiple Academy Award-winning movie Parasite, and the Ellison family also poured money into the round.

Shenzhen-based conglomerate Tencent continued to back the latest round, after it first picked up shares in Skydance in January 2018 through a deal that enables it to co-finance Skydance films, as well as to market, distribute and merchandise in China.

Tencent, the owner of China’s ubiquitous social apps WeChat and QQ, had reportedly purchased a stake of 5-10 per cent in Skydance for over $100 million in the previous round, according to the Los Angeles Times citing a person familiar with the deal.

The latest investment roped in two new partners, RedBird and CJ ENM, who are expected to help Skydance “to further expand the company’s global reach across its film, television, animation and interactive platforms,” said Skydance in the statement.

“Skydance will collaborate across both studios’ vast libraries to create compelling stories that appeal to a global audience in addition to strengthening its presence within the APAC region,” the company added.

Skydance was launched in 2010 by David Ellison, the son of California-based computer technology company Oracle’s founder Larry Ellison. The company is best known for blockbusters including Mission: Impossible, Terminator, and Star Trek movies.

The firm claimed over $5.8 billion in the box office worldwide to date. It also invests heavily in television production, gaming and virtual reality.

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.