Shanghai Dream Center

Cultural investment fund recently committed to buy stake in IMAX China

HONG KONG – China Media Capital, a Chinese state-backed private equity fund, has successfully raised $350 million.

It announced the latest funding round, its first denominated in US dollars, in mid-March. Since then it has unveiled plans to spend $80 million buying a 20% stake in IMAX China.

CMC did not disclose the institutions which bought into the funding round, describing them only as “leading international funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds and global leaders in the media and entertainment industry,” adding that they represent US, European and Asian investors and a mix of financial and strategic investors.

It earlier emerged that global ad industry giant was among the investors. Financial sources also tipped Time Warner and Softbank as other likely backers.

 Li Ruigang, who also heads the Shanghai Media Group, said that he was “grateful and encouraged by” the success of the cash call and suggested that it was indicative of international high regard for the fund which was started in 2010.

“The media, entertainment and related sectors of China are undergoing unprecedented evolution, where CMC has been continuously dedicated to identifying unspotted opportunities to deliver true value for investment while facilitating reforms and growth in key sub-sectors of infrastructural significance in China’s media and entertainment industry.”

CMC controls the Fortune Star film library and the three STAR China TV channels previously owned by News Corp. It is a joint venture partner in Oriental DreamWorks and its now under-construction Shanghai Dream Center (pictured); and it has other stakes that include TVB’s Jade East, Orient Shopping and financial news site Caixin Media.

IMAX China is IMAX’s second largest business unit after North America, and CMC’s proposed investment is expected to help IMAX China towards a separate share listing.

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