China’s Fosun in Funding Pact With Shanghai Film Group

HONG KONG — Fosun, the Chinese conglomerate that is backing Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 start-up, has struck an entertainment industry pact with the Shanghai Film Group.

Fosun said that it had “formed a strategic partnership to jointly set up a Cultural Industry Investment Fund,” with SFG. The fund which will be used as a platform for film and television production, distribution, and exhibition, and may also stretch to theme parks and other cultural and leisure facilities. The company also specified that the fund may be used for domestic or foreign investment.

“We have been bullish on China’s cultural industry development opportunities,” said Fosun chairman Guo Changcheng.

The conglomerate, which has interests stretching from insurance to pharmaceuticals, appears to be an opportunistic investor as well as a strategic player in the entertainment scene. It stepped in to finance Studio 8 when Huayi Brothers’ plan to finance the Robinov company hit the rocks. And this month it grabbed an 8% slug of shares in producer-distributor Bona Film Group, that was being offloaded by 20th Century Fox. It now has a 20.8% holding in New York-listed Bona.

SFG may present other opportunities for Fosun to invest. SFG’s parent company is in preparations for an initial public listing of its stock.

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