The Raine Group, a boutique merchant bank with close ties to WME, has partnered with Chinese fund China Media Capital to invest in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors in China and on an international level. Raine, which recently took a stake in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s nascent Important Studios, also has investments in Vice, online game developer Jagex, ecommerce platform OpenSky and Zumba Fitness, among others. CMC, an $800M fund, also controls Star China, a joint venture with News Corp. and in August partnered with DreamWorks Animation in a plan to build The Dream Center theme park in Shanghai. CMC chairman Li Ruigang told The Financial Times that investments would initially be focused in China but that he would also seek out global opportunities. He added he’s working on raising a new privately-owned media investment fund. Below is the Raine press release:
NEW YORK and SHANGHAI — The Raine Group and China Media Capital (CMC) today announced that they have formed a strategic partnership to collaborate broadly across the global media landscape. The partnership intends to leverage the industry and geographic expertise of both firms towards select investments in the sports, entertainment and digital media sectors, both in China and around the world. The new partnership will entail exchanging investment strategies, co-investing with each other, sharing resources and developing focused conferences for Chinese and Western media thought leaders.
“We and Raine share the same vision — to build Chinese media and entertainment companies into world-class institutions, to further develop the content creation industry in China, and leverage the technology, formats, innovations, and experience of the global digital media, sports and entertainment sectors into China,” commented Li Ruigang, Chairman of China Media Capital. “Raine brings us unparalleled access across the media sector through its portfolio companies, investors and strategic partners such as WME Entertainment. We believe that by combining our resources and networks, we will bring a unique value proposition to our investments.”
“We are incredibly fortunate to have CMC, with its deep experience in the Chinese media industry and strong operating expertise, as our partner. This unique partnership positions both Raine and CMC to pursue transformative investment opportunities,” said Raine co-founder Jeff Sine . “We believe the media sector in China is on the cusp of a significant growth trajectory, as demand for international content in China continues to increase, and Chinese media companies continue to expand globally, seeking strategic capital and partners. Our long relationship with Li Ruigang and his team has led us to a mutual position of trust and cooperation which will create significant near-term opportunities for two-way investment flows between our firms,” said Raine co-founder Joseph Ravitch .
The new partnership builds on the momentum both firms gained this year. The Raine Group made a number of significant new investments in areas such as entertainment content creation, education and mobile data while China Media Capital announced in February a landmark partnership with DreamWorks to develop a China-focused family entertainment joint venture company and has transformed its partnership company with Newscorp, StarChina, into one of the top television production companies in China.
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