China’s Big Overseas Spending Spree

December 13, 2014

In a burgeoning wave of overseas spending and investing spree by Chinese media companies comes the $100 million China-targeted Media Fund backed largely by China’s Bona Film Group. Interestingly, this fund is not based in mainland China, also not in Hong Kong, but in Singapore. Rumors are circulating that most big Chinese private media companies are transferring their funds “legally” to a foreign country through investment or property purchasing. Considering unstable financial (currency depreciation expectation, for example) and political  (selective “anti-corruption” campaign, for instance) situations in China, such rumors are not without a warrant. Here is the news about the announcement of this fund:

Bona Film Group's Chairman Yu Dong (left) with his China-focused media fund partners.

Bona Film Group’s Chairman Yu Dong (left) with his China-focused media fund partners.

“The Singapore Media Festival today was the scene for the announcement of the latest China-focused media fund — and this one comes with a twist. Bona Film Group chairman Yu Dong, private equity firm Tembusu Partners and Singapore media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng have joined forces to launch a $100M fund aimed at China’s media and entertainment industry. The Media Entertainment Fund will be based in Singapore and is intended as the first such non-Reminbi dominated fund to invest in China’s media and entertainment sector. Bona, China’s largest private film distributor and vertically integrated film company, is expected to be one of the anchor investors along with Thailand’s Chia Tai Group. The five-year fund is closed-ended and will be formalized on March 31, with capital raising to begin shortly thereafter.

By domiciling in Singapore, the parties will leverage the country’s legal framework and status as a financial hub to attract investors from outside the region. Yu said, “Singapore is the perfect place to launch this fund as it is not only a financial capital of the world, but also as the place where East meets West. This fund will allow foreign investors to participate in the fastest growing media and entertainment market in the world. “

Cheng, the architect of the deal, noted that the existing film and TV co-production agreement between Singapore and China will open opportunities for the fund to invest in projects that involve Singapore-based media companies.”

(By Nancy Tartaglione; deadline.com, Dec. 10, 2014)