$131m fund targets China's media scene

TEAMING UP: (Seated, from left) Mr Yu, chairman of Bona Film Group; Mr Cheng, media entrepreneur; and Andy Lim, founder of Tembusu Partners, are starting a fund to invest in China's music and entertainment industry. With them are Gabriel Lim, CEO of the Media Development Authority (left) and Second Minister for Communications and Information Lawrence Wong.


    Dec 11, 2014

    $131m fund targets China's media scene

    NOTED Chinese film producer Yu Dong, local private equity firm Tembusu Partners and former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng have teamed up to start a US$100 million (S$131 million) closed-end fund to invest in China's burgeoning media and entertainment industry.

    Anchor investors are likely to be Mr Yu's Nasdaq-listed Bona Film Group and Thai conglomerate Chia Tai Group, otherwise known as the Charoen Pokphand group.

    The five- to seven-year fund has no official name yet. It will be formalised on March 31, with fund-raising to start after that. It is targeting returns of 20 to 30 per cent a year, said Mr Cheng, who put the deal together and will oversee investments.

    He is executive director and co-founder of Lumina-Looque International, a media firm that owns event companies, model agencies and a publishing company.

    "China is the most exciting media market today in terms of box office takings. It is already the second-largest in the world and quickly catching up with the United States," he said at a press conference yesterday.

    "The convergence of new and old media is happening at a speed matched only by the US...the opportunities and returns for investment in these markets are fast and exciting."

    The fund will not just invest in films, but also in games, theme parks, media companies and Internet projects, said Mr Cheng.

    It will also be looking at cooperation opportunities between China and countries like Singapore and the US, through co-productions or joint ventures.