China’s Shanghai Media Group, and CMC Capital Partners, have teamed with Warner Bros, Ratpac Entertainment and global advertising agency WPP to launch an investment platform, called the CMC Creative Fund.
The fund will focus on individual projects in three key areas; films and television properties as well as live stage and theatrical events, including musicals, that are Chinese-language or would appeal to Chinese audience. They would be distributed to each project’s most appropriate outlet, whether in China or beyond.
Warner Bros., RatPac and WPP will also work with their partners at SMG and CMC to share their production and distribution expertise with up-and-coming players in the Chinese entertainment industry through seminars, co-productions and creative partnerships.
Warner and WPP were among the international investors which this year put up $350 million into the dollar denominated second fund operated by China Media Capital. Australian billionaire James Packer, who is one half of RatPac, was an earlier investor. CMC, an investment fund started in 2009, and the state-owned films, TV and multimedia conglomerate Shanghai Media Group, are both operated by Li Ruigang.
“Changes [in Chinese demographics and audience tastes] 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,” said Li in a statement.
“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,” said Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros.
“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,” said Brett Ratner, co-founder and CEO of RatPac Entertainment.
“This investment plays to our focus on developing content opportunities around the world and builds a new partnership in the world’s second largest market,” said Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP.