IDG-Everbright M&A Investment Fund, jointly established by major players China Everbright Ltd (HKEX: 165) and IDG Capital Partners, said it has acquired a controlling stake in the Shanghai Film Art Academy, to create a top film and television incubator, high-tech studio and Hollywood M&A platform.
The academy currently operates as a full-day institute of higher education in the fine arts, recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Shanghai Municipal Government, and is one of two independent educational institutions in China focused on film. The institute is located at the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park in Pudong, Shanghai, and offers 15 specialist fields such as film art, animation games and digital design. It has nearly 3,000 students, and is opening its doors to its first batch of international students this month.
As the controlling shareholder of the academy, the IDG-Everbright fund plans to turn it into a leading film & television industry center, with new activities including intellectual property incubation, nurturing filmmaking talent, building high-tech movie studios, acquiring quality Hollywood independent film companies, post-production companies and special effects teams, to working closely with premium film companies and schools in Europe.
China Everbright Ltd is the largest overseas financial platform of China Everbright Group Ltd., a state-owned enterprise (SOE) and financial conglomerate with assets under management of RMB3 trillion (USD $449 billion) as at the end of 2015. As at end-June 2016, China Everbright Ltd managed 33 funds with assets under management of more than HK$67.8 billion (USD $8.74 billion).
China Everbright Ltd is the second-largest shareholder of Everbright Securities (SSE: 601788; HKEX: 6178) and a strategic shareholder of China Everbright Bank (SSE: 601818; HKEX: 6818), the controlling shareholder of China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Ltd (HKEX: 1848), the largest shareholder of Shanghai Jiabao Industry & Commerce (Group) Co. Ltd (SSE: 600622), and the second-largest shareholder of Ying Li International Real Estate Ltd (SGX: 5DM).
IDG Capital Partners, the first foreign investment team to enter the Chinese market, focuses on leading companies in a variety of sectors, including technology, media and telecommunications (TMT), consumer products and services, healthcare and industrial technology.
Since 1992, IDG Capital has invested in more than 450 companies, including Tencent, Baidu, Sohu, SouFun, Htinns, Homeinns, CreditEase, Xiaomi, Ctrip, Qihoo360, Legendary Pictures, Baofeng Technology, Wuzhen Tourism, Gubei Watertown, Meitu, bilibili and Mogujie. The firm has also successfully exited over 100 investments through both IPOs and M&A.
IDG Capital is also active in the film industry. In 2010, IDG Capital invested in U.S.-based Legendary Pictures Inc. and then successfully exited the company in 2016 after Legendary was acquired by Wanda Group.
In 2011, IDG also initiated and sponsored “Looking China,” a program that teams foreign film students with students from Beijing Normal University’s Institute for International Communication of Chinese Culture to produce short documentaries about China. More than 300 film students from 35 countries participated in the program, and films produced there have won more than 40 international awards. IDG Capital has also invested in a number of feature-length films, including Turning Point 1977, Under the Hawthorn Tree, and My Old Classmate.