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Magna Rolls Out Pix Dough

After working quietly for the past four years, the Magna Group surfaced last week at the CineAsia movie convention and unveiled its expanding role as an investment bank and consultant specializing in the entertainment sector.

Execs disclosed a tie-up with prominent film industry lender Chemical Bank and said they’re currently involved in a slate of projects budgeted at $100 million to $120 million.

The Singapore-based company is owned by two local concerns, the wealthy Eu family and Pan Pacific, plus the management. L.A.-based Andrew Craissati, former managing director of Landmark Entertainment’s theme park division, is Magna’s group managing director.

Craissati told Variety Magna intends to open branch offices in Sydney and London this year, and aims eventually to become a full-service bank.

He said Magna has created a venture capital fund that’s involved in transactions with three Chinese-language production firms. One involved securing an investment of nearly $5 million from Japan’s Nomura for a Singapore producer, JSP Films. He would not disclose the other two projects due to client confidentiality.

Magna also is launching a venture capital fund in collaboration with a European merchant bank (which he declines to identify) to fund software developers.

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