Shanghai-based boutique entertainment studio Linmon Pictures raised RMB 500 million ($76 million) in a Series B funding round led by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, a unit of Legend Holdings(HKG: 3396), whose founder and chairman is Liu Chuanzhi, the founder of Lenovo, the largest computer maker in the world.
Existing investor Tencent Holdings, and new investor Mango V Foundation, a philanthropic offshoot of Hunan TV, also participated in this funding round.
The deal follows a seemingly endless string of Chinese initiatives in the film, TV and entertainment industry, such as media mogul Li Ruigang‘s China Media Capital (CMC) investment a few days ago in Imagine Entertainment, the iconic Hollywood production studio founded by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.
Last month Perfect World Pictures Co Ltd (002624.SZ) agreed to invest $250 million to finance Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Universal Pictures films over the next five years.
“In the near future, using this new round of funding, we plan to not only expand the production of our TV shows, but also invest in film, variety shows, and other kinds of content,” said Linmon Pictures CEO, Su Xiao.
Linmon Pictures was founded in 2014 by Zhou Yuan, former Head of Motion Pictures at SMG Pictures, together with Su Xiao, Chen Fei and Xu Xiao’ou, who are widely recognized for their experience in the Chinese media and entertainment industry. Linmon is an independent creator, producer, and distributor of entertainment content.
In Feb. 2015, Linmon raised RMB 100 million ($15.36 million) in a Series A round funded by China’s Internet giant Tencent, after which it produced three TV dramas: Chronicle of Life, A Love for Separation, and The Good Man.
Hony Capital is a Chinese private equity firm, owned by Legend Holdings. Hony reportedly has USD $7 billion of assets under management. Legend Capital, Hony Capital and Legend Star have become leading brands in China’s investment sector. On June 29, 2015, Legend Holdings was listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Legend’s founder, Liu, is considered the torch-bearer of Chinese capitalism.