Universal and China’s Perfect World enter movie financing agreement
Universal Pictures and China-based, multi-media enterprise, Perfect World Pictures today announced that the companies have entered into multi-year financing agreement, which includes films across the entire Universal slate. The announcement was made by Jeff Shell, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, and Michael Chi, Chairman, Perfect World.
The partnership will begin this year and last five years or for the co-financing of 50 pictures. Specific films within the deal will be announced at a later date. Legendary Entertainment will continue to finance select Universal titles.
This deal represents the first time a Chinese non-SOE entertainment company will be working directly with a major U.S. studio. Additionally, this will be the first time a Chinese company will invest in a multi-year slate deal with a major studio.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Perfect World and appreciate the confidence it has in our film slates going forward after a record-breaking 2015,” said Shell. “With Perfect World’s history of success in the Chinese market, we look forward to exploring other opportunities to work together.”
Michael Chi, Chairman of Perfect World, expressed that, “Building out our film business and expanding into international markets are two of the most important initiatives for Perfect World. Universal has had a stellar last few years, and with a slate that boasts many titles that we know will thrive in the marketplace, we are confident our partnership with them is a solid step in the right direction. Our partnership with Universal is not just about making movies together, but also about the opportunities that exist in the synergy across our multiple business lines to maximize strategic value for all involved.”
Perfect World was represented by Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Universal Pictures was advised on the transaction by The Raine Group and represented by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.