IM Global Acquired by Tang Media Partners, Launches TV Venture With China’s Tencent

Stuart Ford will stay on as CEO of IM Global

Last Updated: June 2, 2016 @ 10:28 AM

Tang Media Partners has acquired a controlling stake in independent studio IM Global. And together, the new partnership is launching a television production venture with Asian tech giant Tencent.

The moves will provide IM Global and its TV wing with capital to further invest in film and television development, production and distribution, the companies stated in a Thursday press release. No other financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but some going-forward leadership news was.

Stuart Ford will stay on as IM Global’s chief executive officer via a new multiyear deal. He’ll also have a similar role within the new television venture, though IM Global Television’s President Mark Stern is expected to keep his own job.

Additionally, Ford and Reliance Entertainment will remain as “significant shareholders” and keep their seats on the IM Global and new parent company’s Board of Directors. Tang Media Partner’s (TMP) Donald Tang is now executive chairman of the IM Global board.

TMP, based in Los Angeles and Shanghai, develops, finances, produces, and distributes entertainment content focused on the rapidly evolving intersection where China and Hollywood meet. And IM Global appears quite happy to expand its reach out (Far) East.

“These are landmark deals for our company. In addition to injecting significant growth capital into our fast-growing film and television operations, this puts us in business with one of the most seasoned and respected entrepreneurs on the Hollywood-China axis in Donald Tang,” Ford said. “We couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of working in both the U.S. and in China with TMP, Tencent and Reliance to continue expanding IM Global’s worldwide platform into a next generation global content creation and rights licensing studio.”

“I’m also extremely grateful to my partners at Reliance Entertainment for their tremendous support over the past six years and I’m delighted that they have decided to invest further in the growth of IM Global as part of this exciting transaction and to continue on this journey with us,” he continued.

“We are excited to partner with Stuart and everyone at IM Global. Combining Tang Media Partners’ strategic and financial partners, through these simultaneous transactions, is all geared to expand and accelerate the growth of IM Global,” Tang added. “We plan to integrate our operating teams and partners globally to further drive IM Global’s success in film, TV, and beyond. I am grateful for the ongoing partnership with Reliance, which is valuable in so many ways for all parties.”

IM Global and Reliance Entertainment were represented by Winston & Strawn, LLP in the transaction. TMP was represented by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP advised on the formulation of the television fund and joint venture. Ford was represented by law firm Weintraub Tobin, LLP and accountants Armanino, LLP.