China’s Perfect World Locks In $250 Million for Universal Slate Financing Deal

Facility with East West Bank and JP Morgan comes after $250 million equity investment last year

Universal’s Chinese partner Perfect World Pictures has secured a $250 million facility from East West Bank and JP Morgan to fund the second phase of its slate financing arrangement with the studio, possibly indicating signs of life after an extended pause in China-Hollywood relations.

Last February, Perfect World and Universal agreed on a 50-film financing deal, which Perfect World initially funded with a $250 million equity investment. It was the first time a Chinese company invested in a multi-year slate deal with a Hollywood studio.

Lindsay Conner, a partner and chair of the Media and Entertainment Group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, and who advised Perfect World on the deal, told TheWrap that his client’s ability to get a deal done with two U.S. banks shows that while it has certainly at an ebb, the pipeline between China and Hollywood remains intact.

“Perfect World has a perfect record of delivering on its financing commitment in Hollywood,” he told TheWrap. “Add this huge deal to the scoreboard. The doom and gloom about the China-Hollywood partnership is greatly overstated. This deal should reassure people that the China-Hollywood partnership is alive and well. It shows that sophisticated Chinese entertainment companies are strong partners for Hollywood studios.”