Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has taken a further step to reduce its presence in China by signing an agreement with China Media Capital (CMC) under which Star China’s management team together with CMC will acquire 21CF’s 47 per cent stake in Star China TV. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Formed in 2010 and majority owned by CMC, the joint venture operates three 24-hour Mandarin channels: Xing Kong, Xing Kong International, Channel [V] Mainland China and the Fortune Star Chinese movie library.
Ruigang Li, Chairman of CMC said that the acquisition and control of Star China was the first investment by CMC when it was established. “Over the past three years, the company has achieved outstanding performance thanks to the dedicated efforts of its shareholders and management. We are very grateful for the tremendous support and understanding from Mr. Rupert Murdoch, Mr. James Murdoch and the 21st Century Fox team. As our respective businesses continue to evolve, we look forward to more opportunities to work together going forward. This latest transaction marks a new era for Star China and we remain committed to building the company into one of the most respected entertainment companies in China,” he confirmed.
James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and CEO, International, 21st Century Fox, said that under Li Ruigang’s leadership and with the talented local team headed by Tian Ming, Star China TV had made tremendous strides in growing the business, and that the Company was positioned to continue this momentum. “Today’s divestment underscores our broader agenda of streamlining our affiliate ownership structures,” he explained.
Murdoch had seen China as a vast new and lucrative market, but in common with other US media companies, became frustrated by tight regulations imposed by the Chinese government, which have prevented them from building mass audiences in many parts of the country.