Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has his sights set on Lionsgate.
Fresh off a world-record breaking $25 billion IPO for the company, Ma is looking for content and is meeting with several studios, according to media reports. China is currently the second largest market for film and will likely surpass North America by the end of the decade.
Ma, who has named “Forest Gump” has his favorite film of all time, has information on more than 230 million Chinese consumers. The company’s access to massive amounts of data would be a powerful asset in a studio partnership.
Back in July, Lionsgate announced a deal with Alibaba to create a streaming service on the e-commerce companies new set-top box, which will give consumers in the country access to programming from the studio’s film and TV divisions. Included in the deal are the films from the “Hunger Games,”“Divergent” and “Twilight” franchises, as well as TV shows like “Mad Men” and “Weeds.”
Rachesky is Lionsgate’s largest shareholder with a $1.6 billion stake in the company. Rachesky began buying the studio’s shares in 2005 through his $6 billion MHR Fund Management. He played an important role in helping the studio’s management beat back a hostile takeover bid from billionaire Carl Icahn. Rachesky had previously worked for Icahn as an investment advisor before leaving to open his own firm.
Lionsgate stock was up 5 percent on Friday.
A Lionsgate spokesman declined to comment. Alibaba declined to comment.