Korean firm gives ImaginAsian a lift


One of South Korea's leading movie production companies, Sidus FNH, has agreed to invest $20 million in ImaginAsian Entertainment, a U.S. television and multimedia company specializing in Asian content, the companies said Tuesday.

The equity investment is geared to help ImaginAsian expand its U.S. distribution and production activities in television, VOD, feature films, DVD, music and new media as well as provide the U.S. company with exclusive Korean content including feature films, television dramas and music.

"We have long admired ImaginAsian Entertainment's achievements and standing in the highly competitive U.S. entertainment market," Sidus vice chairman Song Jay Bin said. "Through this agreement, Sidus' many entertainment properties will now have the opportunity to receive the deserved attention of consumers across America."

"Sidus has been the gold standard for the development and production of Korean entertainment for more than a decade," added Augustine SC Hong, chairman of ImaginAsian Entertainment. "We are pleased that ImaginAsian Entertainment is being recognized by the entertainment community in Asia as a meaningful entry point in the U.S. entertainment arena."

As part of the deal, Sidus also will provide television and music content from Mnet Media, a Korea-based music entertainment company. The Mnet deal is part of a $100 million entertainment fund operated by Sidus aimed at investing in the U.S. market.

ImaginAsian Entertainment launched its U.S. cable television channel in 2004 and today brings content from across Asia to most major U.S. markets on Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications.

Sidus FNH has produced many of Korea's biggest films of the past several years, including "Memories of Murder" and "Tazza: The High Rollers." It recently announced plans to begin its own movie distribution in Korea.