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Chinese media tycoon Bruno Wu is partnering with former Bertelsmann and Arcandor chief executive, Thomas Middelhoff, to form a China-focused media and investment joint venture. According to a report in the Financial Times, the two will combine assets with revenues of $1 billion to $2 billion for a business they are touting as “the first China-originated global media and alternative investment group.”
The venture will pool the two investors’ existing media and entertainment assets to make private equity investments in TV, film and Internet businesses in China and western markets.
Middelhoff, who was ousted from Bertelsmann after trying to take the German media group public, told the Financial Times that BT’s private equity investment strategy would focus on “western, midsized profitable media companies to whom we can offer something by offering them access to the Chinese market.”
Wu’s wife Yang Lan, a well-known TV presenter and media entrepreneur — often dubbed the “Chinese Oprah Winfrey” — will be a director in the company.
The two partners didn’t reveal the sum they are seeking to raise for their investments, but told the Financial Times that one of their targets is a TV production company specializing in formats for the international market.
Last year, Wu’s Seven Stars Media announced separate joint production ventures with Iron Man producer Avi Arad, Justin Lin‘s Perfect Storm Entertainment and financier/producer Jake Ebert‘s Allied Productions East.
In February of 2012, Wu announced that his Seven Stars was teaming with Harvest Fund Management to establish a $800 million film finance fund targeted at the U.S. market. And in April he said his media conglomerate was partnering with the regional Chinese government of the Binhai New Area in Tianjin to build what the company claims will be China’s biggest filmed entertainment and media facility, called Chinawood Global Services Base, with an investment of over $1.27 billion.
Following on the string of local Chinese language films to hit at the Chinese box office in the first half of 2013, Wu most recently pacted with Chinese producer Liu Yiwei’s company Joyful Film to form a new venture, Constellation Film Company, to develop, produce and distribute Chinese-language films for the domestic Chinese market.
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