London – Content Media Corporation has announced 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, Alex Cherepakhov, also joins the Content Board as non-executive director. Wu and Cherepakhov join Schmidt, von Auersperg, Sagansky, Kerry McCluggage and Content Media Corp. CFO Geoff Webb as directors. 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.