Tang Media buys stake in Reliance Entertainment studio

Mumbai June 3 (IANS) Tang Media Partners has acquired a majority stake in IM Global, the film and TV studio of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment. Tang Media and IM Global have also tied up with Asian internet giant Tencent for a new TV production joint venture, the companies said.

The partnership includes a dedicated TV production investment and provides significant capital to further invest in films and TV programming development, production and distribution, as also to expand their global distribution platform, the companies added.

At the same time, the ties between Reliance Entertainment and IM Global will continue and will expand the studio into a partnership with Tencent whose subsidiaries are in areas such as social platforms, online gaming, news and information and media and content, including video.

“Stuart Ford will continue as Chief Executive Officer of IM Global under a new multi-year employment deal as well as serving in a similar capacity within the new television venture. Current IM Global Television President Mark Stern to continue in his role,” the companies said.

Tang Media Partners, based in Los Angeles and Shanghai, is active in the development, financing, production, and distribution of unique entertainment content focused on the rapidly evolving intersection where China and Hollywood meet.

The transaction also gives Hollywood-based independent studio IM Global access to strategic and financial partners to facilitate further corporate growth and investment. The deal also serves to further enhance IM Global’s profile in Asia and in Hollywood.

“In addition to injecting significant growth capital into our fast-growing film and television operations, this puts us in business with one of the most seasoned and respected entrepreneurs on the Hollywood-China axis in Donald Tang (of Tang Media),” Ford said.

IM Global was founded by Ford in 2007. The company operates one of the world’s top global film and television sales and distribution platforms, controlling a library of more than 300 films that collectively have grossed over $6 billion in worldwide box office, the companies said.

Some of its upcoming productions include Gary Ross’s “Free State Of Jones” starring Matthew McConaughey, Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” starring Andrew Garfield, and Eran Creevy’s “Collide” starring Nic Hoult, Felicity Jones, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Also in the pipeline are Brad Peyton’s “Incarnate” starring Aaron Eckhardt, and Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date romance “Southside With You”. IM Global also recently handled the global sales of Chinese film “The Mermaid” that has grossed over $545 million til date.



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