17 Mar 2014
CONTENT MEDIA ACQUIRES CHINESE PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES FROM DR. BRUNO WU’S SEVEN STARS MEDIA
Content Media Corporation is pleased to announce a multi-faceted deal with Beijing-based Seven Stars Entertainment and Media, Ltd., and its principal, Dr. Bruno Wu. The deal will include the acquisition by Content of the Alive Group of companies based in Beijing, a direct equity investment by Seven Stars into Content, and the appointment to the Content Board of Directors of Dr. Bruno Wu as Chairman and Alex Cherepakhov as non-executive director.
The Alive Group is headquartered in Beijing and consists of several companies based in mainland China engaged in the following activities:
• Production and distribution of television programming to the Chinese market under the Alive TV Network brand
• Feature film production, co-production services and theatrical distribution in China
• Sports programming, primarily mixed martial arts, under the Tiger Sports brand
• Digital distribution of English-language programming to OTT players, Telcom carriers and cable systems in China
• Music rights
• Advertising and marketing services
Content will distribute its extensive library of film and television rights through the Alive Group to the Chinese market and will offer its producers direct distribution opportunities to the Chinese market through its Alive Group subsidiaries. Content will also distribute certain rights owned by the Alive Group outside of China.
The deal involves a direct equity investment by Seven Stars into Content Media, and the issuance of further shares to Seven Stars as consideration for the acquisition of the Alive Group. Other participants in the equity raise include Jeff Sagansky, Franz von Auersperg, Content Media Corp. CEO John Schmidt and other members of the management team. Seven Stars founder, Dr. Bruno Wu, joins the Content Board as Chairman and will work closely with Content’s management to build the Chinese business and spearhead an aggressive growth strategy in Asia. Seven Stars Vice-Chairman, Mr. Alex Cherepakhov, also joins the Content Board as non-executive director. Messrs. Wu and Cherepakhov join Schmidt, von Auersperg, Sagansky, Kerry McCluggage and Content Media Corp. CFO Geoff Webb as directors. Mr. Huw Davies is stepping down as Chairman.
Among the first commercial activities of the new venture will be “Team China” a 10 hour martial arts reality show for CCTV5 and the Chinese theatrical release of “Grace of Monaco” starring Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth which was named the opening night film of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and is scheduled for a May 2014 release in China. The Alive Group is developing other television formats, such as “Wheel of Fortune” and will work with Content Television to bring new shows to the Chinese market. Other feature film projects are also in the pipeline.
Mr. Schmidt said, “This is a tremendously exciting deal for Content and a landmark deal in our industry. Content’s worldwide production and distribution business will now include a wholly owned subsidiary operating directly in the Chinese market. The growth of the Chinese television market, the emergence of the OTT operators and explosive growth in Chinese box office revenue are all elements that make China the most compelling entertainment market in the world today. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Bruno Wu, whose vision brought this deal together, and I welcome him and Alex Cherepakhov to our Board. I would like to thank Huw Davies for his brilliant service to the Content Board. He will be missed.”
Dr. Wu commented, “We have been building the Alive Group in China, and now we have found the perfect fit with Content Media. Content’s global distribution and production operations combined with our China business and Asia growth strategy makes for a unique and dynamic combination. Alex and I are looking forward to working with John and his team to realize our vision, and I’m delighted to join my friends, Jeff Sagansky, Franz von Auersperg and Kerry McCluggage, on the Content Board.”
The deal was negotiated by Geoff Webb and Rick Kwak for Content and by Alex Cherepakhov and David Rapaport for Seven Stars.
For further information contact:
Debbie Lawrence , The Lippin Company
Tel: +44 (0) 7771 850580
About Content Media Corporation
Content Media Corporation Limited (“Content”, “the Company”), is a global entertainment media company based in London with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Toronto, which owns and distributes a significant library of film, television and digital assets. Content Film, the film sales division, holds the rights to over 255 feature film titles and helps producers secure financing, marketing and distribution. The division also acquires top-tier documentaries. Content Television is the television sales division, which holds the library rights to 4,000 hours of TV programming incorporating major drama series, non-fiction entertainment, special event programming, kids’ series, TV movies and mini-series. Content Digital licenses over 300 hours of bespoke digital properties, in addition to the existing library, to digital media platforms worldwide, including on-demand, broadband and mobile. The Company also owns significant stakes in Collins Avenue, a LA based entertainment TV production company; Spirit digital media, a digital production company; leading factual entertainment production house Aito Media and in film and television production companies Jigsaw Productions and Preferred Film & TV. Additionally, Content has an ongoing strategic deal with formats distribution and production outfit Small World IFT plus a first look deal with transatlantic drama and comedy specialist, Caryn Mandabach Productions. www.contentmediacorp.com.
About Seven Stars Entertainment and Media
Dr. Bruno Wu's Seven Stars Entertainment and Media Limited is a leading, China-based, global entertainment company that focuses on creation, aggregation and distribution of premium content throughout Asia and North America. Activities focus on a broad range of entertainment, including feature film and television production, theatrical and cable TV distribution, as well as large-scale events and location based entertainment productions.
For questions or comments, please contact Steven.Lee@global7stars.com