Time Warner in China investment initiative

jeffTime Warner Inc and China Media Capital, China’s leading investment fund focused on media and entertainment, have formed a strategic investment partnership. The news was revealed in the western Chinese city of Chengdu, where business leaders convened for the 2013 Fortune Global Forum. The partnership aims to capitalise on China’s rapidly expanding media sector as digital devices proliferate and China’s demand for high-quality content across multiple platforms rises.

“This partnership with CMC and [Chinese media entrepreneur] Ruigang Li will give us a unique window into one of the world’s largest and fastest growing media and entertainment markets,” said Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes. “Increasing our global presence is one of Time Warner’s strategic priorities and China is one of the most attractive territories in which we operate, but it is complex. This alliance will give all our businesses a savvy and accomplished partner as we strive to bring our leading brands and storytelling to people everywhere, across a wide range of devices.”

“China’s media and entertainment industry is undergoing a profound change on various fronts including technology, creativity and commercialisation,” said Ruigang Li, Chairman of CMC, the pre-eminent investment platform in China dedicated to the media and entertainment sector. “We are pleased to forge this partnership with Time Warner to jointly explore innovative ways of creating premium content for the new generation of consumers at the age of Internet and mobile, which will further contribute to the dynamic industry development in China.”

The Chinese media and entertainment market is among the largest and fastest growing in the world. Box office revenue is projected to reach $4.4 billion in 2013, and with an estimated 45 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2009 and 2013. Animation revenues are projected to reach $7.1 billion in 2013, with a 27 per cent CAGR over the same period, and online video revenues are projected to reach $2 billion in 2013 with a 64 per cent CAGR between 2009 and 2013.

CMC Founding Chairman Ruigang Li founded CMC as China’s first media and entertainment-focused investment fund in 2010. CMC’s investment portfolio has participated in several investments and transactions including DreamWorks Animation’s Chinese joint venture and CMC’s acquisition of Star China from News Corporation. Li was previously the chief executive of Shanghai Media Group, where he was credited successfully transforming the Shanghai based provincial broadcaster SMG into one of China’s largest media conglomerates.

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