China's Citic Guoan Invests $150M in Dick Cook Studios

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Investment announced at Beijing Film Market.

Former chairman of Walt Disney Studios Dick Cook has announced the formation of Dick Cook Studios and said Citic Guoan, a unit of the giant Chinese conglomerate Citic, would invest $150 million in the studio.

Based in Los Angeles, Dick Cook Studios will focus on the development, production, marketing and distribution of live-action and animated motion pictures, as well as television, digital, stage and other entertainment media. 

"This has been quite a journey for all of us as it takes time to find the right people you want to be in business with," Cook told a signing ceremony at the Beijing Film Market. The announcement came on Cook's birthday, and he joked that he was surprised to see so many people there for his party.

In a statement Cook said: "I am thrilled to formally announce the launch of Dick Cook Studios. Our mission will always be to provide the very best in family entertainment inclusive of all generations, which inspires, engages, excites and always contributes positively not only to our communities but to the world at large. We will have many more announcements in the coming weeks and months as our long-standing plans come together."

Cook said the investment by Citic Guoan would serve as a "significant building block" in helping the company reach its goals. "China is very important to us because of its rich history and culture," Cook said. "We look forward to telling quality stories for the entire family that will live on from generation to generation and we know this will live on." 

Citic Guoan is the largest industrial unit of the Citic Group, with total assets of $15.33 billion. Its businesses include finance, film and television culture, media, tourism, information, real estate, wine industry and resource development. 

Cook added: "It took us quite awhile to find the right partners that share our vision to create quality content and our passion of family entertainment through telling rich stories that will travel the globe. Citic Guoan is an extremely diverse company with many businesses that range from film and television, publishing, media, to sports, tourism and outsourcing services that will be of great benefit to both of our companies.”

Citic Guoan chairman Li Shilin said his company chose to partner with Cook because of the leading role he has played in the entertainment industry for over 38 years, along with his expertise and management experience at The Walt Disney Company and his network.

"China has huge potential for the film market and we have great momentum going forward. Citic Guoan is dedicated to the development of the culture industry. We plan to invest $3.23 billion in developing the industry," said Li at the signing ceremony. 

Li added in a statement: "With Mr. Cook and his highly respected team, we are guaranteed that every segment of our cooperation will be of the highest standards. They appreciate and understand traditional Chinese culture, and they look forward to telling Chinese stories that will play to families across the globe. We both believe that cultural works in spreading love and positive energy is the world’s eternal theme."