Peter Chernin Expands Into Asia With Launch of CA Media

So much for Tribune Co.: Peter Chernin will be chairman of the new venture; co-founder Paul Aiello will be CEO

The Chernin Group, led by former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin, announced Sunday that it is expanding its entertainment business into Asia with the launch of CA Media.

Peter Chernin will be chairman and co-founder Paul Aiello will be CEO of the Hong Kong-based company.

The announcement certainly throws a wet blanket on last month's speculation that Chernin would step in to run troubled-but-restructuring Tribune Co.

Chernin's new business will focus at first on China, India, and Indonesia, growing to "strategically build, manage, and operate media, entertainment, and technology businesses throughout Asia."

According to the Chernin Group's press release, those efforts will mainly include film and TV production.

“We see tremendous opportunity across Asia, but particularly in India, China, and Indonesia,” Chernin said in a written statement. “These markets provide the ideal blend of economic, demographic, and industrial dynamism required to build a pan-Asian media organization of significant scale. In Asia, there is less distinction between ‘traditional media’ and ‘new media.’ Nearly everything is growing, which allows for more robust prospects across the industry—prospects that we find enormously exciting.”

Besides Chernin and Aiello, initial investors include  Allen & Company LLC, Brookside Capital (an affiliate of Bain Capital), Gordon Crawford, and Kimberly Querrey, among others.

 

 

Here's the press release:

HONG KONG – November 8, 2010 – The Chernin Group today announced the formation and launch of CA Media, a company that will strategically build, manage, and operate media, entertainment, and technology businesses throughout Asia. The Chernin Group also announced that Peter Chernin will be Chairman of CA Media and Paul Aiello, who along with Chernin is a founding shareholder of the company, will be CEO.

Focused initially on China, India, and Indonesia, CA Media aims to capitalize on the compelling growth characteristics of these markets. It will bring to bear the global management, strategy, and business-building experience of Chernin and the Asia Pacific operational and transactional experience of Aiello.

CA Media intends to focus on a broad range of opportunities in content creation (specifically, film and TV production), television networks, sports, education, advertising, and digital media.

“We see tremendous opportunity across Asia, but particularly in India, China, and Indonesia,” said Chernin. “These markets provide the ideal blend of economic, demographic, and industrial dynamism required to build a pan-Asian media organization of significant scale. In Asia, there is less distinction between ‘traditional media’ and ‘new media.’ Nearly everything is growing, which allows for more robust prospects across the industry—prospects that we find enormously exciting.”

In addition to its principals’ track records leading successful global media enterprises, CA Media will have the benefit of unique structural and operational independence. The company plans to team with local entrepreneurs, strategic partners, and financing sources to launch new enterprises, enhance the growth of businesses in their formative stages, and selectively pursue later-stage transactions.

“”We are uniquely familiar with the development of the global media industry and we have distinctive insight into how it is likely to evolve in Asia,” said Aiello. “We intend to make a meaningful contribution to this great story.”

In addition to The Chernin Group and Aiello, the initial investors in CA Media include Allen & Company LLC, Brookside Capital (an affiliate of Bain Capital), Gordon Crawford, and Kimberly Querrey, among others.

Peter Chernin is the founder of The Chernin Group and Chernin Entertainment. The Chernin Group manages, operates and invests in businesses in the media, entertainment, and technology sectors. Chernin Entertainment produces feature films and television programs. Chernin previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Fox Group.

Paul Aiello has 24 years of professional experience as a media executive and investment banker, with most of his career focused on the Asia Pacific region. Most recently, he served as the CEO of STAR Group Ltd., the region’s leading pay television broadcaster. At STAR, Aiello was responsible for some 68 pay channels in 15 languages distributed in more than 65 countries around the world. In addition, he also oversaw News Corporation‘s investment in its joint ventures in India, China, and Indonesia, among other countries in the region.  Prior to joining STAR, Aiello was the head of technology, media, and telecommunications investment banking for Morgan Stanley Asia.

CA Media will be headquartered in Hong Kong and initially intends to build a local presence in India, China, and Indonesia.

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