Warner Bros. and RatPac Join New Chinese Investment Fund
Partnering with Shanghai Media Group, CMC Capital Partners and WPP, it will invest in movies, TV and stage
Warner Bros. Entertainment and RatPac Entertainment are joining forces with Shanghai Media Group, the media and entertainment company, CMC Capital Partners, a state-backed Chinese investment fund, and WPP, the communications services group, to create a new fund that will invest in Chinese and international film, TV and live entertainment.
Dubbed The Creative Fund, it will focus on properties, including live stage and theatrical events such as musicals, that are in the Chinese language or appeal to Chinese audiences. The various projects will be distributed through the most appropriate outlet, both in China and outside the country, with Warners, RatPac and WPP sharing their production and distribution expertise with their partners at SMG and CMC.
The size of the fund, which the partners announced today, was not disclosed.
“We believe China is a market with incredible potential and a wealth of talent,” Kevin Tsujihara, Warners chairman and CEO, said. “We are excited to be working with our partners at Shanghai Media Group and CMC Capital to continue our history of helping to develop and grow the entertainment industry in China in a respectful and meaningful way. We are very proud to be part of this vibrant creative community.”
Commented Ruigang Li, chairman of CMC, “Chinese audience’s demand for high-quality content has increased exponentially in the past few years, while the taste and consumption behavior of the young generation have also been rapidly evolving. Such changes have posed new opportunities and challenges for content creators in China. We hope that this new platform will effectively combine the respective strengths of our partners in areas of creative development, production experience, industry resources and talent development, on the one hand, together with the development of the China market and the rising demand of the audience for content, on the other hand, and will provide superior resources and full-scale support for the new generation of content creators in China.”
Brett Ratner, co-founder and CEO of RatPac, as well as a producer and director whose most recent film Hercules bows Oct. 21 in China, added: “It is exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues from China. I hope to best exploit my experience, techniques and connections in the industry to help China’s creative talents, especially the younger generation, to create Chinese projects that will be successful in the global markets.”
Time Warner and CMC first announced a partnership between themselves in June 2013. Then, in September 2013, in a separate deal, Warners closed a $450 million financing arrangement with RatPac and Dune Entertainment that covers Warners’ entire slate of up to 75 movies over the next four years.