China’s Fosun International has announced in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it plans to invest in former Warner Bros Pictures chief Jeff Robinov’s new venture Studio 8.
The filing stated that the company entered into an agreement on June 6, 2014 to invest in Studio 8, which is also in talks with Sony Pictures about a distribution and investment pact.
Fosun didn’t state how much it expects to invest, but its understood that Robinov has raised around $1bn in debt and equity from a pool of investors, which may also include China’s Huayi Brothers and investors from other countries.
Fosun also stated that it expects to “exercise significant influence over the distribution arrangements of movies produced by Studio 8 in the mainland of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions”. The agreement is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.
The filing also said that “through the transaction, the company hopes to introduce Hollywood’s advanced and sophisticated film-making expertise and technique, movie concept and technology and complete production and publication systems into the China market, in order to drive the development of the Chinese film industry.”
“Going forward, the company will continue to integrate the world’s leading film and entertainment resources to build a global culture platform encompassing movies, entertainment, cultural consumption and media networks through mergers and acquisitions and equity investments,” the filing said.
Based in Shanghai, Fosun is involved in pharmaceutical and healthcare products, mining and metals, property development and asset management. The company acquired a 6% stake in Chinese studio Bona Film Group in September 2013.
Huayi Brothers announced to the Shenzhen stock exchange in March, 2014 that it was in talks to invest around $120m-$150m in Studio 8. Its understood those talks are over as Huayi couldn’t raise the full amount, but that the studio may still work with Robinov as an investor or distribution partner.