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China’s Perfect World Raises $250 Million for Universal Slate Funding

Perfect World, the Chinese games and film group, that provided $250 million of funding for a slate of movies by Universal Pictures, has raised a further $250 million.

The cash is sourced from East West Bank and JP Morgan. Perfect World was advised by Lindsay Conner of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.

The credit line, worth $250 million, represents the second instalment in the firm’s five year commitment to backing some 50 Universal titles. The original deal was struck in January last year.

The second tranche comes at a time when Chinese acquisitions in Hollywood have largely been halted as a result of direct government intervention. And it follows growing hesitation on the part of other investors.

Perfect World has described the slate deal as part of a slow expansion of its movie business, with the Universal slate commitment treated as a balance sheet investment, rather than something contributing to its annual profit and loss statement.

In June this year, Perfect World merged its Chinese film making activities into a three way joint venture with Village Roadshow Pictures Asia and WME | IMG. The resulting, Perfect Village will be involved in development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of a slate of feature films, animation and premium online series, with budgets in the range of $7.25 – $45 million (RMB50-300 million). These will be filmed primarily in Chinese and intended for distribution throughout Greater China and around the world.

The new venture’s initial slate of films includes two 2017 releases: sci-fi action picture “Bleeding Steel,” starring Jackie Chan, and “Reborn,” a cyber-hacker thriller starring Han Geng and Rhydian Vaughan. Its tentpole release for 2018 will be Zhang Yimou epic “Shadow.”

Pictured: John Mass and Lindsay Conner (right)

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