The deal to create a new entity, to be called Oriental DreamWorks, was tipped earlier this week. The plan is to develop and produce original Chinese live-action and animated content for that market and globally. The deal includes provisions for live entertainment, theme parks, mobile, online, interactive games and consumer products. DWA will hold a 45% stake in the venture, which is set to launch operations in Shanghai this year. Here’s the release:
GLENDALE, Calif., Feb. 17, 2012 — DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (Nasdaq: DWA) today announced that it has agreed to form a joint venture with China Media Capital (CMC), with plans to include Shanghai Media Group (SMG) and Shanghai Alliance Investment, Ltd. (SAIL), to establish the leading China-focused family entertainment company.
Oriental DreamWorks will engage in the development and production of high-quality original Chinese animated and live action content for distribution both within China and to other territories around the globe. In addition to content creation, the joint venture will pursue business opportunities in the areas of live entertainment, theme parks, mobile, online, interactive games and consumer products.
“We are incredibly proud to establish Oriental DreamWorks alongside CMC, SMG and SAIL in this groundbreaking and historic alliance to create the leading Chinese-branded family entertainment company,” said DreamWorks Animation’s Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Katzenberg. “Together with our partners in China, we look forward to building a first-of-its-kind enterprise to locally conceive, produce and distribute high-quality creative content and family entertainment experiences – not only for the people of China but also for related export markets.”
“We share the same vision with DreamWorks Animation to build a world-class family entertainment company,” commented Ruigang Li, Chairman of China Media Capital. “By combining the expertise of CMC in investment and operation, SMG in media and entertainment management, SAIL in high-tech R&D, as well as DreamWorks Animation in creative processes, innovative technology and global network capabilities, Oriental DreamWorks will be in a unique position to create high-quality content and interactive entertainment products for China and international markets.”
The Chinese companies will hold a majority stake of approximately 55% in Oriental DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation will hold approximately 45%. The enterprise will initially be capitalized with cash and intellectual property valued at $330 million. The joint venture plans to launch business operations in Shanghai later this year.
DreamWorks Animation has enjoyed a great track record of success at the box office in China, led by its blockbuster Kung Fu Panda franchise. Kung Fu Panda was the #1 animated film upon its release into China in 2008 and last year, Kung Fu Panda 2 became the highest-grossing animated film of all time in the region, grossing approximately $100 million.