UPDATE, 4:04 AM: The official press release from Harvest Seven Stars Media Fund detailing its investment areas is below.
PREVIOUS, 2:56 AM: Last month, I reported on a group of Chinese investors said to be “scouring” Hollywood for acquisitions. That consortium, led by Chinese media entrepreneur Bruno Wu along with Harvest Global Investment and Pacific Alliance Group, was eyeing a big target after holding preliminary talks with Summit ahead of its acquisition by Lionsgate. Companies thought to be in the consortium’s sights included Lionsgate and Miramax. Today, The New York Times reports that Wu and his wife Yang Lan, a well-known Chinese TV personality, are joining Harvest Fund Management via their Sun Media Group to create Harvest Seven Stars Media Private Equity, an $800 million fund to invest in existing entertainment companies, provide backing for filmmakers and build a distribution system in China and elsewhere.
China is booming right now amid a 30% surge in box office in 2011 and expectations that receipts will reach $5 billion in the next few years. According to the Times report, Wu said he and his partners are eager to bring blockbuster-style films into China by participating in big-scale co-productions. And, Wu’s not ruling out a Reliance-like investment in a Hollywood company. Asked if the new fund would back a company as big as DreamWorks, the media entrepreneur answered in a word, “Yes.” The NYT says CAA is advising the fund via its Beijing office with several deals with producers nearing completion. “The goal is pretty straightforward; it’s to make a maximum return, of course, for the investors,” Wu told the newspaper.
Beijing/Hong Kong/London, February 6th, 2012: Harvest Alternative Investment Group (a subsidiary of Harvest Fund Management) and Sun Redrock Investment Group (founded by Bruno Wu, already one of China’s most successful media entrepreneurs) have formed what on its creation has become one of China’s largest media funds – the Harvest Seven Stars Media Fund, with an initial fund raising target of $800 million capital.
Harvest Seven Stars Media holds a set vision for the future of filmed entertainment and cinema, in Asia and beyond, and believes that there are major profits to be reaped for its stakeholders.
It will invest in three distinct areas –
Mergers and Acquisitions: The Fund will identify and take positions in niche dominant companies on a world-wide basis, enabling their consolidation and growth, particularly in the Chinese and Asian markets.
Operations: The Fund will build a comprehensive distribution and marketing platform in all media across China and beyond, initially bringing the world’s best brands and entertainment to the Chinese and Asian consumer.
Content: Through direct relationships with major filmmakers and filmed entertainment providers, whether as equity stake holders or by provision of operating capital, the Fund will deliver the essential critical mass to its platforms. The team is focused on collaborating with today’s leading filmmakers to develop both English and Chinese language content that is simultaneously Asia focused but also appeals to the world-wide market – crossing borders, cultures and generations.
Harvest Seven Stars Media is being advised by Creative Artists Agency’s Beijing office.
Well capitalized and led by a management team of industry professionals, with over 70 years of experience in the Chinese media and finance sectors, both Harvest Alternative Investment Group and Sun Redrock Investment Group reflect China’s growing influence and expertise within the international business sector.
Harvest Seven Stars Media is currently negotiating several filmmaker deals, three of which are expected to be consummated within 30 days.
On making the announcement Mr Wu commented “This new partnership emphasises our confidence in the strength and potential of the Chinese media industry and the wealth of talent within it. We look forward to cultivating this new joint venture and seeing it grow into one of the world’s leading media funds.”
Harvest Alternative Investment Group’s Lindsay Wright added “We are very pleased to be partnering with the Sun Redrock Investment Group on this venture and together building and developing a leading media fund. We have tremendous confidence in the potential of the Chinese media industry.
The addition of this partnership to the Harvest Alternative Investment Group further supports our goal of developing a leading alternative product platform in China and globally ”
About Harvest Alternative Investment Group
Harvest Alternative Investment Group is the alternative investment arm of Harvest Fund Management. Harvest Fund Management was founded in March 1999 as one of the first 10 fund management institutions authorized by the Chinese government as part of its strategy to open up and develop its financial sector. With more than $ 35 bn of AuM the Harvest Group is currently the second largest and largest sino JV asset management company in China. Its shareholders include Deutsche Asset Management a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG(30%), China Credit Trust (40%) and Lixin Investments (30%).
About Sun Red Rock Investment Group
Sun Redrock Investment Group was founded on Sun Media Group created by Dr. Bruno Wu and Ms. Yang Lan in 1999. After only ten years, Sun Media has become one of the leading private media, marketing and investment companies in mainland China. The company operates five major segments under separate brands: Sun Media Group, Redrock Capital, Sun Enterprises Group, Sun Publishing Group and Sun Culture Foundation, a charitable foundation which promotes philanthropy and corporate social responsibility in China.