Asian private equity firm, FountainVest Partners has acquired a significant minority stake in Chinese film ticketing and distribution firm Maoyan Entertainment in a deal worth about $134 million dollars. Maoyan listed its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in an IPO last year.
FountainVest owns 92.6% of shares in Interstellar Investment, which in turn now holds 5.86% of Maoyan shares. Maoyan CEO Zheng Zhihao co-invested in the transaction with personal funds, as he took on the other 7.4% of Interstellar’s shares in late December.
FountainVest director Tang Lichun, 34, has been appointed as a non-executive director of the board for a three year term, effective as of Wednesday. Tang joined FountainVest in 2012, and before that worked as a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers. The equity firm also has previous and current investments in media, sports and entertainment that include Endeavor China and IMAX China.
Zheng said his investment “represents the management team’s confidence in the growth potential of the industry and the expansion capabilities of the company.” He praised FountainVest’s investment track record in the entertainment industry, and said he was excited to work with the firm to “drive [Maoyan’s] sustainable development.”
FountainVest co-president George Chuang said the firm was “delighted” to become a shareholder, since Maoyan “has grown into a leading integrated entertainment service platform with multiple drivers for growth.” He hopes to “help the company further expand its business, achieve long-term development, and ultimately provide better entertainment experiences to Chinese consumers.”
Maoyan, which has significant backing from both Enlight and Tencent, runs one of China’s major online movie ticketing apps. It has recently expanded into other sectors such as live performance ticketing, film distribution and consulting services based on its big data resources. In 2019, it provided marketing services and data insights for 43 films.