Alternative Asset Manager Launches Film Fund

Dec 11 2009 | 10:17am ET

Fund of hedge funds specialist Infiniti Capital announced today that it would be working with Chengdu, China-based Green Leaf Film Studios and five-time Oscar winner Richard Taylor to launch a new film fund.

The new fund, Panda Screen Productions, is expected to attract US$200 million to $400 million. It will invest in a diversified portfolio of film, television and related special projects with strong merchandising and ancillary revenue potential.

“We have all been excited by the opportunities and capabilities we have seen in China and have decided to bring together the combined benefits of top industry talent and production savings in a focused offering,” says Kenji Steven, chairman of Infiniti Capital.

Infiniti Capital’s Hong Kong subsidiary, Infiniti Advantage Limited, will manage the fund.

“China and New Zealand are continuing to develop their local film industries and both countries provide attractive financial incentives and taxation relief,” says Taylor.

“Film investors are now highly sophisticated and attracted to the recession-proof economics of film investment as well as its appealing risk/return characteristics,” says Taylor. “We will focus on film and television in the popular areas of animated and visual effects-driven live action productions for global market consumption as well as tailored product for the rapidly growing Chinese domestic market.”

Milestone Capital, a New Zealand-based private investment group, is the arranger of Panda Screen Productions. The new fund is the second originated by Milestone Capital this year. It launched the Rutherford Innovation Fund in October.

China’s Box Office Potential

The box office is booming in China with revenues up 27% in 2008 to US$638 million and up 45% in the first quarter of 2009 to over US$245 million.

There are around 4100 screens in China with at least an extra screen being added every day, so there is great demand for content.

According to Infinity, the regional Chinese government in Chengdu supports the project and is in discussions with Green Leaf Film Studios to provide access to facilities, land and resources. The Chinese government has placed great significance on developing the local film industry with funding and local infrastructure support for locally produced films.

Green Leaf Film Studios was co-founded and is run by New Zealand-born China expert Gavin Crombie and owned by Crombie’s wife Xaiomei Liu and Haidong Liu.

Infiniti Capital is headquartered in Hong Kong and has offices in Christchurch, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia. It has historically specialized in emerging manager hedge fund of funds mandates, alongside offering bespoke solutions for institutional clients. Its assets under management and advice total over US$1 billion.

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