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.