Shanghai-based Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Limited says that it has signed a unit purchase agreement with U.S. film company Studio 8, according to an announcement by Fosun.
Fosun did not specify how much the investment amounts to or how big a stake it is acquiring, but media reports say it could be over US$150 million.
Fosun will exercise significant influence over the distribution arrangements of movies produced by Studio 8 in the mainland of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions. Meanwhile, Fosun will establish an investment, financing and business operation platform in China’s culture consumption market.
As part of the deal, Fosun also plans to incorporate Chinese elements and stories in Studio 8’s co-productions in China.
China is the world’s second largest motion pictures market, and is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market in the next few years, according to industry forecasts. This investment is a significant strategic footprint for Fosun in the global movie and entertainment industry, says the announcement.
"Both China and the U.S. possess the film markets with the most influence and potential and we are excited to unite the markets, teams, technologies and…work together on building a number of top-level films including co-production films between China and other countries," says Studio 8’s founder Jeff Robinov, a former executive at Warner Brothers who oversaw the production of The Dark Knight trilogy, The Hangover, Inception and Argo.
Previously, Fosun has already made other investments in the culture and media industry, including Focus Media and Bona Film Group.