Japanese venture capitalist Softbank has taken a strategic stake in Australia's Content Capital, one of two government-sanctioned Film Licence Investment Companies (FLICs) aimed at coaxing private investment into Australian production.
The investment is Softbank's first venture capital investment in Australia. Legislation restricts foreign companies from owning more than 33% of the FLICs share capital, but Content Capital executive Greg Smith said Softbank's stake was not that high and the door is still open to other potential partners. It is likely that Softbank will take a seat on Content Capital's board.
Each FLIC is permitted to raise $12.5m (A$20m) before June 30 this year, and Australian investors can claim a tax deduction on that investment. The advantage of the deal for Content Capital is that Softbank has bought non-concessional shares, which means additional funding for the outfit.
"Content Capital has strategic appeal to us because it has the right business model and necessary management experience to capture a significant share of this growing market," said president and CEO of Softbank Finance Corporation, Yoshitaka Kitao.
The second FLIC, Macquarie Film Corporation, is about to rev up its marketing campaign in the lead up to June 30 and will be releasing more details at a launch on March 7.