Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment has formed a $100M television production co-financing venture with TVB Venture, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Television Broadcasts Limited. The deal was orchestrated by CMC Holdings, which not only has a stake in Imagine but also is an investor in Young Lion, TVB’s largest shareholder.
Under the deal, TVB has invested $100M, which will be used for the development and production of TV projects. Imagine and TVB will each own 50% of the venture, while TVB will have broadcast and distribution rights in China, including Hong Kong and Macao, as well as Taiwan.
The deal marks the latest effort designed to strengthen Imagine Television’s ability to develop and produce scripted programs on a global scale. Last year, the company received a $100M investment from Raine Group. Imagine’s current programs include Empire for Fox Television and Genius for National Geographic Channel. The company is also working on the fifth season of Arrested Development, which was picked up by Netflix for 15 episodes.
TVB is a publically traded company based in Hong Kong that has been in the TV business for more than 50 years, with programs accessible to more than 300M households in Asia, Australia, North and South America and Europe.
Notably, the deal comes at a time when Chinese companies are increasingly pulling back from U.S. investments.
CMC created and negotiated the deal. The Raine Group served as financial advisor and O’Melveny and Meyers LLP and Ziffren Brittenham LLP served as legal advisors to Imagine on the transaction.