Zhejiang Huace, one of China’s most ambitious entertainment groups, says it is raising $303 million (RMB 2 billion) which it will plow into expansion in the U.S. Among its upcoming North American moves is acquisition of a small stake in Magic Leap, a virtual reality company that is pioneering wearable technology as well as developing content.
The new funding takes the form of a fixed rate corporate bond issue with a maximum five year span.
In separate moves the company said that it will establish funds for further VR investment and new media.
Magic Leap has been one of the most secretive companies in the fast-moving VR sector – and one of the most successful at attracting top tier strategic backing. These have included Google, Legendary Entertainment, Alibaba, Warner Bros., and Qualcomm.
Solid roots in the Chinese TV business and a series of deals have propelled Huace to the forefront of Chinese media players at home and abroad. The company has its own stock quote but also counts on backing from Baidu, China’s leading Internet search firm. Huace has business relationships with “Batman” producer Michael Uslan and a joint venture with Los Angeles- and Sydney-based film sales and financier Arclight.
In November it struck a development and production deal with 20th Century Fox’s local language filmmaking unit Fox International Productions.
In the TV space it has a deal with global formats giant Keshet International.
In late 2014 Huace invested in Korean film distributor Next Entertainment World (N.E.W.), a relationship that it solidified a year later with a joint production venture.