China's Fosun Pacts With Shanghai Film Group on Investment Fund

Ren Zhonglun of Shanghai Film Group

Fosun head Guo Guangchang says the deal will "inject new vitality" into its film and TV operations.

Chinese investment group Fosun International, which last month pacted with ex-Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov's new company, Studio 8, said it had established an investment fund with Shanghai Film Group to produce, distribute and screen movies and TV series. The groups declined to disclose the amount of the fund. 

"We are confident about the prospects of China's film industry," said Guo Guangchang, Fosun's chairman. "Through the partnership with Shanghai Film Group, we expect to better pinpoint the opportunities in the industry and inject new vitality into it."

Shanghai Film Group is China's second-largest film studio, and president Ren Zhonglun has been making a lot of noise of late about potential big deals in the offing.

The move is Hong Kong-listed Fosun's latest investment in the entertainment industry, part of a busy few months for the conglomerate.

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As well as the Robinov move, Fosun said earlier this month it was upping its stake in the Chinese film studio and distributor Bona Film Group Bona to 20.8 percent, making it the second-largest stakeholder.

Shanghai Film Group is among China's largest movie producers and distributors and counts among its subsidiaries Shanghai Film Studio, Shanghai Animation Film Studio, Shanghai Film Technology Plant and Shanghai United Cinemas.

Fosun was established in 1992 and its principal business operations include insurance, industrial operations, property development, media, entertainment, investment and asset management.

China is now the world's second-largest movie market, with box-office takings increasing 27 percent to $3.6 billion last year.