CAA Launches Joint Venture in China to Increase Entertainment Market Share

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has become the latest Hollywood-based company to sign a deal with Chinese investors as the battle for the entertainment market escalates.

CAA has signed an agreement with Chinese investment fund CMC Capital Partners, a fund specializing in media, entertainment and internet investments, to form CAA China as a joint venture.

The deal will see CMC take a minority stake in CAA China and its chairman, Li Ruigang, will join CAA’s board of directors.

The joint venture aims to strengthen the activities of the Hollywood-based entertainment and sports agency in China, where it has been operating since 2005.

CAA currently employs 24 people in Beijing and represents a host of local talent, including “The Great Wall” director Zhang Yimou and “Rogue One” star Donnie Yen. CAA also helps direct finances to Chinese and English content, as well as secures distribution agreements.

The deal also gives CMC, which owns IMAX China, Manchester City Football Club and Flagship, a joint venture studio with Warner Bros., better access to the US market.

The partnership will also allow the two companies to take advantage of China’s booming entertainment market, which remains a very attractive and lucrative market for Hollywood films.

CMC Chairman Li Ruigang said, “We believe that China and the United States are the two biggest entertainment markets and play a central role in the global landscape. The partnership not only creates commercial and industrial value, but also serves as an innovative force in the evolution of the Chinese media industry.

The deal follows a wave of activity by Chinese companies investing in US studios and talent agencies, as China continues to develop its entertainment industry.

Rival talent agency WME / IMG has signed a similar joint venture deal with Chinese private equity firm Sequoia Capital China, also backed by Tencent.

Earlier this year, Paramount Pictures signed a three-year, $ 1 billion deal with Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group to co-fund films, while e-commerce giant Alibaba negotiated a content-sharing deal between its studio. Alibaba Pictures Group and Amblin Partners by Steven Spielberg.

However, it was not all smooth sailing. The failure of a $ 1 billion deal for Chinese group Dalian Wanda to buy Dick Clark Productions, as well as a slowdown in explosive Chinese box office growth last year, sparked fears among retailers. entertainment companies as to the growth potential in China.

John Zeng, chairman of China’s largest film distributor Wanda Cinemas, told an audience at CinemaCon last month that the Chinese market remains strong, with audiences showing an appetite for good content. He predicted that the Chinese box office would continue to grow at a rate of 15-20% per year.