×

China’s Fosun Revealed as Leading Owner of Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8 (EXCLUSIVE)

Fosun International, the Chinese conglomerate that is fast building a portfolio of entertainment and leisure assets, has emerged as the dominant shareholder of Studio 8, the high-profile production company founded by former Warner Bros. boss Jeff Robinov.

Fosun “held 80% equity interest in Class A investors of Studio 8, and the shares held by Class A investors represent 60% of the total share capital of Studio 8,” Fosun explained in its annual report. The document was published Monday in Hong Kong.

Fosun and U.S. private equity group TPG were today confirmed as the two largest shareholders in Canada-based performance art group Cirque du Soleil. Cirque is reported to be valued at $1.5 billion.

While the value of Fosun’s capital contribution to Studio 8 has widely been reported as $200 million, Robinov has not previously disclosed the shareholdings of other investors. Nor has he disclosed the firm’s capital and control structure. Extrapolating from the annual report shows Fosun as having a 48% economic interest in Studio 8, though the Chinese company is unlikely to have management control.

Another Chinese firm, Huayi Brothers Media, held several months of talks last year with Robinov about investing in Studio 8. But the deal collapsed in June 2014 when the could not agree on financial and deal terms.

In November, Robinov described Sony as both a financial backer of Studio 8 and its global distributor outside of China. His production deal with the studio calls for the production of 24 movies over five years.

Fosun’s annual report says that it “exercises significant influence over the distribution arrangement of movies produced by Studio 8 in the mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, whereby the company will build a global media entertainment investment, financing and operating platform with its base in China’s culture consumer market and focusing on the global film and television industry.” That fits closely with Robinov’s November explanation of the arrangement. “Our movies will be handled in China on a picture-by-picture basis through a distributor chosen by us and Fosun,” Robinov said.

Studio 8 has greenlighted “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” a wartime drama to be directed by Ang Lee. Studio 8 and Bona Film Group, the Chinese film producer-distributor in which Fosun also owns a 20% equity stake, are both investors in the picture.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group Partners With Audiomack

    Warner Music Group announced it has entered a partnership with the music streaming and discovery service Audiomack, marking the platform’s first licensing deal with a major label. According to the announcement, the two companies will work together on content concepts and explore ways to break emerging artists, connecting music fans with rising talent before they [...]

  • Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on

    Scooter Braun Congratulates Taylor Swift on ‘Brilliant’ Album and Campaign

    Two days after Taylor Swift fired off the latest salvo in her battle with Scooter Braun, the manager congratulated the singer on the campaign around her “brilliant” new album, “Lover,” which arrived last night. The message came after Swift said she will be re-recording songs from her first six albums, which are now owned by [...]

  • David Koch Obit

    David Koch, Libertarian Activist and Billionaire Philanthropist, Dies at 79

    David Koch, brother of Charles Koch and one of the owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the U.S., has died at 79. According to the New York Times, Charles Koch announced the news of his brother’s death in a statement. Though he did not attribute to David’s death to a particular cause, [...]

  • Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing

    Beverly Hills Realtor Accused of Stealing From Usher, Adam Lambert

    A Beverly Hills real estate agent has been arrested on charges of stealing from the homes of celebrities, including Usher, Adam Lambert and “Real Housewives” star Dorit Kemsley. Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, is accused of encouraging an accomplice, Benjamin Ackerman, to enter homes during open houses in order to steal from them. Ackerman allegedly sold [...]

  • Pod Save America Hosts on Trump

    'Pod Save America' Hosts on Trump, the Democratic Primary and What's Wrong With Cable News

    Like many Democrats, Tanya Somanader was blindsided by the 2016 presidential election. A veteran of the Obama White House and a former speechwriter and digital specialist for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Somanader was gearing up for a Hillary Clinton administration. Instead, she had to grapple with the reality of a Donald Trump presidency. “A lot [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Warner Bros

    Ann Sarnoff Formally Takes Reins of Warner Bros. as CEO

    The Ann Sarnoff era at Warner Bros. has begun. Sarnoff formally took the reins as Warner Bros. chair-CEO on Thursday, two months after she was appointed to the post. Sarnoff told employees in a memo that she has been impressed by the company’s track record during the past year amid a period of upheaval for [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein to Be Arraigned on New Indictment

    Harvey Weinstein is set to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment on a new indictment, the Manhattan D.A.’s office said Thursday. Prosecutors announced last week that they would seek a fresh indictment, which would allow actress Annabella Sciorra to testify at Weinstein’s trial. The move came after Justice James Burke ruled on Aug. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content