Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital has acquired a majority stake in Spanish media group Imagina Media Audiovisual, the firm that has backed a number of Woody Allen movies including Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Blue Jasmine.
The Chinese firm has bought 53.5% of the company, buying stakes previously owned by Mexico’s Televisa, Torreal and Mediavideo. The deal, which gives Imagina an enterprise value of €1.9B (US$2.4B), will still see ad giant WPP own 22.5% as well as founders Taxto Benet and Jaume Roures keeping their combined 24%. Orient Hontai Capital noted that it beat 12 other international investors to secure the deal.
Tatxo Benet and Jaume Roures, said the deal would provide “a significant boost to its competitive strength in its traditional markets of Spain and Europe” and added it “provide the group with access to an emerging market like China and the advantage of accessing this market in association with such an important partner as Orient Hontai Capital”.
The move is part of Orient Hontai Capital’s international expansion in Europe. “We strongly believe in the potential and prospects of Imagina and the new media technology industry as a whole,” said Tony Ma, CEO of Orient Hontai Capital. “The acquisition of Imagina will not only enable us to introduce advanced audiovisual production technology to China, but also opens new perspectives for exchanges and cooperation among China, Spain and Latin-America in fields like content, culture, sports, etc. With strong support from both Orient Hontai Capital and the best-in-class management team of Imagina, we are excited to witness the synergies and potential in China as well as globally, to be realized in the near future.”
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals is expected to close in the second quarter of the year. Citibank and Lazard acted as financial advisors to Imagina. Deutsche Bank and GBS Finance acted as financial advisors to OHC.