Hong Kong producer Raymond Wong and asset manager First Vanguard are teaming up to launch a $100m fund for film and TV programming targeting the mainland China market.
The ten-year fixed-term fund aims to tap into growth in mainland China where box office is rising at around 30% ayear and the TV industry is also booming.
It also aims to exploit Hong Kong’s access to the mainland market under the CEPA trade agreement which eases the restrictions on Hong Kong-China co-productions and enables Hong Kong-produced films to bypass import quotas.
Wong will be the investment advisor of the fund and executive producer on resulting film and TV projects.
Over the past year, Wong has produced hit films such as martial arts biopic Ip Man, which grossed more than $14.6m (RMB100m) on the mainland, and Chinese New Year hit comedy All’s Well That Ends Well 2009.
However, in January he stepped down as chairman of Mandarin Entertainment, the Hong Kong-based production and distribution outfit that he founded 25 years ago, following a restructuring of the company. It’s understood that he is now launching a new production company, Pegasus, which aims to tap the mainland market.
“Raymond has a strong track record both in liaising with the Chinese authorities and producing hit movies,” said First Vanguard chief investment officer Richard Yin. “A few years ago, Hong Kong companies stopped producing Chinese New Year comedies but Raymond revived that genre and has also had success with new genres such as IpMan.”
Established in 2004 with offices in China and Hong Kong, First Vanguard is an Asia-focused private equity fund which is raising money for a fund that will invest in water and environmental projects in partnership with China’s Zhongzhi Enterprise Group.