(October 14, 2014 – Shanghai and Los Angeles) – Shanghai Media Group (SMG), Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., CMC Capital Partners (CMC), RatPac Entertainment LLC and WPP today announced plans to create an investment platform (“CMC Creative Fund”) dedicated to investing in Chinese and international entertainment content opportunities covering film, TV, and live entertainment.
The Creative Fund will focus on individual projects in three key areas. Projects will include films and television properties as well as live stage and theatrical events, including musicals, that are Chinese-language or would appeal to Chinese audiences, for distribution to each project’s most appropriate outlet, whether in China or beyond. Warner Bros., RatPac and WPP will also work with their partners at SMG and CMC to share their production and distribution expertise with up-and-coming players in the Chinese entertainment industry through seminars, co-productions and creative partnerships.
“CMC has focused on investing in key areas within the ecosystem of China’s content creation industry since its inception. We have been working with strategic partners who have extensive industry resources to jointly develop platforms and tools in order to systematically elevate our capabilities to create premium content,” commented Ruigang Li, Chairman of CMC. “Chinese audience’s demand for high quality content has increased exponentially in the past few years while the taste and consumption behavior of the young generation have also been rapidly evolving. Such changes have posed new opportunities and challenges for content creators in China. We hope that this new platform will effectively combine the respective strengths of our partners in areas of creative development, production experience, industry resources and talent development, on the one hand, together with the development of the China market and the rising demand of the audience for content, on the other hand, and will provide superior resources and full-scale support for the new generation of content creators in China.”
As one of the largest media and entertainment companies in China, SMG is dedicated to become China's most innovative media and entertainment conglomerate with global influence and pays great emphasis on content creation. “Content has been one of the main driving forces underpinning SMG’s development. We, together with our public listed subsidiary, Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co. Ltd (OPG), are keen on participating in the international content market on a broader and deeper basis through this strategic partnership, which is expected to enhance our capabilities in content creation and thus help us meet the increasing demand for cultural products and the challenges of promoting China’s creative industry and international exposure, ” commented Jianjun Wang, Executive Vice President of SMG. “We believe that this platform will enable SMG to explore the industrialization and internationalization of our content creation, further help with consolidating and enhancing SMG and our new public listed company’s content competitive edge, and accelerate our new media transformation.”
“We believe China is a market with incredible potential and a wealth of talent,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. “We are excited to be working with our partners at Shanghai Media Group and CMC Capital to continue our history of helping to develop and grow the entertainment industry in China in a respectful and meaningful way. We are very proud to be part of this vibrant creative community.”
Co-founder and CEO of RatPac Entertainment, Brett Ratner is a world-class producer and director in Hollywood, best known for the TV series “Prison Break” that was hugely popular in China and around the world, and the widely popular films such as the “Rush Hour” series starring Jackie Chan, “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and the recent “Hercules” that will be released in China on October 21. A passionate believer and devoted practitioner of fostering young talents, Brett Ratner also has extensive interactions with China from his previous projects involving Chinese talents and stories. Brett Ratner said, “It is exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues from China. I hope to best exploit my experience, techniques and connections in the industry to help China’s creative talents, especially the younger generation, to create Chinese projects that will be successful in the global markets.”
"This investment plays to our focus on developing content opportunities around the world and builds a new partnership in the world's second largest market," commented Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP.
About Shanghai Media Group:
Shanghai Media Group (SMG) is one of the largest media and entertainment companies in China. SMG boasts the most valuable and comprehensive business portfolio including radio, TV, newspaper and magazine traditional media outlets, TV program/drama and motion picture productions and distribution, multi-platform video distribution such as IPTV and Internet TV, and online video offerings, digital advertising, online and console gaming, TV shopping and ecommerce, live and performing arts and tourism. By the end of 2013, SMG had RMB 44.6 billion in assets and RMB 21 billion annual income. In terms of media outlets, SMG currently operates 15 satellite and cable networks, including news, entertainment, sports, finance, documentary, children networks, which are based on free-to-air advertising business model. Among them, the flagship channel Dragon TV is one of the most influential satellite TV channels in China, reaching 1 billion audience members in China and overseas markets, covering Hong Kong, Macao, the United States, and Canada. Meanwhile, SMG has 15 pay TV channels distributed national wide, only based on subscription business model. SMG also owns and operates 11 radio stations, including news, sports, finance, music stations, and eight newspapers and magazines. In terms of industrial development, SMG has two public listed companies: BesTV New Media and Oriental Pearl, with the total market value exceeding 70 billion RMB and ranking No. 1 and No. 2 in all public listed media and entertainment companies in market capitalization. Also, SMG runs the largest home shopping business in China. It also owns several landmark properties in the city including Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower. Looking forward, SMG will stick to its mission of “spreading uplifting power and enriching people’s life” and strive to become China's most innovative media and entertainment conglomerate with global influence.
About Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) co. Ltd:
Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) co. Ltd (OPG), one of SMG’s subsidiaries, is a leading culture enterprise listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in China. OPG has the business including tourism, modern service, the media industry and external investments. OPG owns and operates Shanghai Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, a famous landmark symbolized as the modernization of Shanghai and of China. In additions, OPG is an exclusive broadcast provider for radio and television broadcasting and data transmission throughout the whole Shanghai area and has actively expanded its new media business by building media platforms on various terminals, such as buses, subways, buildings and mobile phones. Furthermore, OPG invests to set up "Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development Company,” which is one of first companies authorized to establish at Shanghai Free Trade Zone, and takes steps to extend its own cultural industry chain and escalate the entertainment industry. By the end of 2013, OPG had total assets of 14.21 billion RMB and net assets of 7.63 billion RMB, with a registered capital of 3.19 billion RMB. OPG is named as the “National Top 30 cultural Enterprises” and recognized as the famous trademark by the State Administration for Industry & Commerce. In future, OPG will strive to become a powerful and influential large-scale cultural enterprise group.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.:
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based Studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD and Blu-ray, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product and brand licensing, and broadcasting.
About CMC Capital Partners:
CMC Capital Partners, founded and chaired by Ruigang Li, is dedicated to media and entertainment investments in China and global markets. Its major founding partners include National Development and Reform Commission of China, global sovereign wealth funds, major international fund of funds, prominent companies and industry leaders in media and entertainment sector worldwide. CMC has made a series of successful investments in media and entertainment, Internet / mobile, and lifestyle sectors. Investments of CMC include Star China, a leading TV production house that has produced hit TV shows such as The Voice of China, China’s Got Talent, and many other record-breaking high-rating TV variety programs, the family-entertainment-focused joint venture, Oriental DreamWorks (ODW), in a partnership with DreamWorks Animation, IMAX China in collaboration with IMAX, and TVB China, a joint venture with TVB, one of the world’s largest Chinese-language TV content supplier and broadcaster, among other investments. CMC’s portfolio also include: Caixin, China’s leading independent economics and finance media; SECA, a leading sports content creator and sports event marketing provider; Charm, China’s largest domestic advertising agency; Secoo, China’s top luxury e-commerce platform; and OCJ, China’s #1 TV shopping business. CMC’s investment covers prominent companies in sectors such as advertising, film, TV drama, financial media, talent management, sports, games and online social network. CMC also leads the landmark Dream Center project in Shanghai, a prominent location based entertainment destination featuring leading creative hub, movie theaters, live performance venues, dining, shopping and other premium urban leisure experiences.
About RatPac Entertainment LLC:
James Packer, the Australian tourism and entertainment entrepreneur with Director Brett Ratner are the founders of RatPac Entertainment, a production, development, and film finance company. RatPac produces and finances theatrical films through their partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures. RatPac will co-finance the entire Warner Bros. slate of about 75 movies over the next 4 years. The new partnership has already taken off with their investment in Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, which grossed 720 million dollars and the animated hit LEGO which grossed 468 million dollars at the worldwide box office.
WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings in 2013 of US$72.3 billion and revenues of US$17.3 billion. Through its operating companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs over 179,000 people (including associates) in over 3,000 offices across 111 countries. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.
WPP was named Holding Company of the Year at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for the fourth year running. WPP was also named, for the third consecutive year, the World's Most Effective Holding Company in the 2014 Effie Effectiveness Index, which recognizes the effectiveness of marketing communications.