A Large Media Private Equity Fund to Start Fundraising in China


December 11, 2014

Private equity investment in Asia is growing strong and the latest development was announced on Wednesday afternoon, as Chinese Bona Film Group founder partnered with private equity firm Tembusu Partners and Singaporean entrepreneur Calvin Cheng to open a large media fund. The fund aims to fundraise $100 million.


An Unlikely Partnership
The fund is a partnership between a Chinese entertainment tycoon Yu Dong, who is the founder and CEO of Bona Film Group, and a Singaporean private equity firm Tembusu and Calvin Cheng.
Bona Film group is China’s largest private film distributor. It’s understood that the company will act as an anchor investor together with Thailand’s Chia Tai Group, while Bona Film Group’s CEO Yu Dong will be one the three main partners in the fund.


He will be investing together with the Singaporean private equity firm as well as Calvin Cheng, who is a former Nominated Member of the Parliament.


The Fund’s Goal
The fund is hoping to launch a $100 million media fund called The Media Entertainment Fund. Its aim is to invest in China’s growing media and entertainment industry.
According to Deadline, the fund will be a five-year, close-ended fund and it will be formalised on March 31. After formalising, it will start raising capital. Hollywood Reporter also said the parties involved “will also endeavor to promote international cooperation opportunities between China and countries such as Singapore and the United States, through co-productions or joint ventures.”


Fund Will Be Based in Singapore
Even though the fund is set to invest in China, it will operate from Singapore. This is mainly due to the positive legal framework in the country, as well as it being one of Asia’s biggest investment hubs. Asia Channel News quoted Mr Yu saying, “I am very excited to see Singapore’s thriving film industry and relevant policies that support the local film culture. At the same time, Singapore’s sound legal system, favourable tax policies and the matured financial market system are all very suited to launch the media fund.”


Furthermore, Singapore is a great international hub and suitable for attracting foreign investors to invest capital.


China’s Growing Entertainment Market
The Chinese entertainment market is bustling and private equity firms have been keen to look for opportunities to get involved. Just recently, gaming developer Linekong Interactive, backed by a number of notable private equity and venture capital investors raised nearly $190 million in a Honk Kong IPO.


Commenting the deal, Mr. Cheng said, “The Chinese media market is the fastest growing media market in the world, and within a few short years, it has almost caught up with the US and is now the second largest box-office market in the world,” and the industry offers plenty of opportunities for investors.


“Because the Internet market in China is also very developed, the convergence of media is very advanced in China. So we see huge opportunities, not only in film and TV content, but the entire media value chain,” he told Channel News Asia.

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