Disney, China's Shanghai Media Group Expand Partnership

Robert Iger

With compensation worth $40.2 million, Disney CEO Robert Iger received a 20 percent pay bump for the fiscal year ended in September. His package included $2.5 million in salary and  various stock and other awards and bonuses. The company cited a stock gain and positive operating trends.

"Disney is committed to providing high-quality entertainment experiences to audiences worldwide," says CEO Robert Iger

The Walt Disney Co. and Shanghai Media Group said Friday that they have agreed to expand their existing partnership to include the co-production of films and the development of TV shows.

The companies earlier this year extended their long-running strategic partnership. The expanded deal also covers content distribution and cooperation on marketing.

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"Disney is committed to providing high-quality entertainment experiences to audiences worldwide," said Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger. "SMG's spirit of innovation, diverse platforms, digital destinations and assets provide unparalleled access to that entertainment in China."

"The strength of this deepening relationship with Disney and the volume and diversity of the initiatives that we are pursuing helps set the foundation of a multi-faceted strategic alliance with Disney," said Li Ruigang, chairman of Shanghai Media Group.

The partners also unveiled plans for new projects that they said represent "another significant step by both organizations to develop a vibrant creative content industry and connect with audiences in China and globally."

Among the projects: Born in China, a Disneynature film currently in production in China, which will showcase "the spectacular wildlife and natural beauty of China when it opens at the global box office in 2016," the companies said. 

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In addition, Disney is in active discussion with Toonmax to produce an animated kids series that centers on one of China's most popular cultural icons with an ambition for global distribution.

"This unique and far reaching cooperation between Disney and SMG is testimony to the strength of our 15-year relationship and commitment to serving audiences with world-class family entertainment," said Stanley Cheung, chairman of the Walt Disney Company Greater China.

Email: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai