US$100 million media fund launched at the Singapore Media Festival

MUMBAI: During the Singapore Media Festival, hosted by the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore, a US$100 million media fund was jointly launched to enhance China’s media and entertainment industry.

The memorandum of understanding was signed by three parties namely China film industry tycoon Yu Dong, private equity firm Tembusu founder and chairman of NASDAQ-listed Bona Film, Singapore PE fund Tembusu Partners and local media entrepreneur Calvin Cheng.

Minister for culture, community and youth and the second minister for communications and information, Lawrence Wong was also present at the occasion to witness the launch.

The Singapore-based private equity media fund will be the first such non-reminbi dominated fund to invest in China’s media and entertainment Industry. It will be based in Singapore and will leverage on the country’s legal framework and status as a financial hub to attract investors from and outside the region. The US$100 million closed-end five-year media fund will be formalised on 31 March 2015, with fund raising to begin shortly after. Anchor investors are likely to include Bona Film Group as well as Thailand’s Chia Tai Group. The fund will focus on the Chinese market, home to the fastest growing media industry in the world. It will target media companies, content and technologies as investment targets. The promoters will also promote international cooperation opportunities between China and countries such as Singapore and the United States through co-productions or joint-ventures.

Yu Dong commented, “Singapore is the perfect place to launch this fund as it is not only a financial capital of the world, but also as the place where East meets West. This fund will allow foreign investors to participate in the fastest growing media and entertainment market in the world. China’s media and entertainment industry is forecast to overtake Japan’s by 2018, and become the second-largest in the world, behind only the US. It is already the second-largest film market in the world, and China’s TV industry is set to surpass the UK and Germany by 2016 to also become the second-largest behind the UKThis phenomenal growth in China will create many exciting investment opportunities.”

Tembusu Partners chairman Andy Lim said, “Tembusu Partners is proud to partner Yu Dong and Calvin Cheng in taking advantage of the exciting opportunities of the Chinese media and entertainment industry. Now investors in and outside the region will be able to participate in the exciting growth of this industry.”

Calvin Cheng, who put the deal together, said, “I am excited about the establishment of this fund in Singapore and the boost it will bring to Singapore’s media industry. The existing Film and TV co-production agreement between Singapore and China opens up opportunities for the Fund to invest in projects that involve Singapore-based media companies. In addition, we will be looking at media companies globally that have a ‘China-story’; with the convergence of traditional media with the internet, there will be many exciting new opportunities that will emerge from the vast Chinese landscape, and we will be looking to invest in the best of them. ”

 “The establishment of this media fund in Singapore is a testament to the country’s position as a regional centre for the financing, production, management and distribution of compelling content. This fund will create an opportunity for Singapore's media companies and talent to participate in the fast-growing media market in China,” said MDA assistant chief executive (Industry) Angeline Poh.

“We are glad that the partners have chosen to launch the fund at the Singapore Media Festival (SMF) as we strive to establish SMF as the choice platform in Asia to foster international media partnerships and deals,” she said.

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