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Pinewood Shepperton strikes joint venture deal with China

Pinewood Shepperton plc, based in the UK, has entered a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Seven Stars Media Limited, part of one of China’s leading private media groups which provides content creation and distribution, media services and events.

Called ‘Song Lin’, the joint venture will initially assess a number of business proposals in the growing entertainment market in China. Pinewood will provide its expertise with limited capital investment under the terms of the joint venture.

The proposals include:

1. Providing co-production opportunities for film and television producers
2. The creation of film and television diploma courses to be delivered by UK educational institutions in Beijing, Tianjin and four other cities
3. Developing production financing and related services for Chinese film and television productions
4. A series of film themed entertainment venues in Shanghai and regionally
5. Creating film themed projects in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan

One the largest and fastest growing media conglomerates in China, Seven Stars has operating subsidiaries and joint ventures in Hong Kong, Europe, UK and the US. Its founder is Chairman Bruno Wu – a leading figure in the international entertainment industry.

Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron said: “It’s great to see Pinewood Studios expanding its business with the announcement of its joint venture with Seven Stars Media. The creative industries are a rapidly growing area of China’s economy and will increasingly provide huge opportunities for UK companies competing in the global race. Pinewood is leading the way, taking advantage of China’s thriving entertainment and media sector and building on Britain and China’s growing trade relationship."

Pinewood’s CEO, Ian Dunleavy, believes the joint venture could provide significant opportunities for UK film and television producers. He said: “The joint venture brings together two companies with significant experience and will provide a conduit for film and television productions to maximise their impact in China. The partnership with Seven Stars, under Bruno Wu’s direction, represents a strategic step forward for Pinewood's international development.”

The deal is also good news for Chinese producers. "The joint venture will aim to improve the standard of media production, create co-production opportunities for Chinese producers and export Chinese film and television content overseas. Our local knowledge and scale combined with Pinewood's unique operational skills and international reputation will enable our joint venture to participate in China's content explosion," said Seven Stars' chairman and CEO, Bruno Wu.

The Chinese entertainment and media market is worth $137,458m and is predicted to grow to $192,516m by 2016, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to that same data, the Chinese filmed entertainment market is worth $4,478m and is expected to almost double by 2016 to $7,374m.

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