Robinov, owner of Studio 8, an independent film production company succeeded in raising in funding from Fosun, after an earlier funding deal with Beijing based Huayi Brothers fell through.
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Fosun operates a number of business concerns, covering industry, insurance, direct investment and asset management. The Company has already displayed their interest in getting involved in the film industry, having previously invested in the Bona Film Group, a leading Chinese film company.
According to a filing made recently on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Fosun International has entered into a partnership agreement with Studio 8, although further details of the agreement, especially the size of the investment, still remain in the confidential mode.
It is understood that, in order to cement the deal, Robinov has granted Fosun “significant influence” over distribution of Studio 8 films in the potentially highly lucrative mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions, while the two companies may work together on Chinese language co-productions.
What may be particularly attractive to Robinov is having Fosun for some company as he attempts to penetrate one of the world’s biggest markets for film, and finding a way past the existing strict quota system when it comes to distributing foreign releases in mainland China.
According to industry reports with this latest round of financing, Jeff Robinov has succeeded in raising roughly $1 billion in debt and equity for Studio 8, with the identity of the investors still remaining unclear, although expected to include a number of key players in the Chinese film industry, as well as from a number of other countries, particularly in Europe.
Jeff Robinov has been known to be in the market for investors in recent months, and with Fosun International now on board, industry speculators forecast that his funding targets may well have been met
Robinov was reported to be in discussions with Huayi Brothers about investing in Studio 8 for some time with a funding agreement reportedly having been reached. However the Huayi Brothers, who run one of China’s largest film companies eventually decided not to participate in the funding, although according to both parties there is still a strong chance of a form of cooperation, with Robinov reportedly very interested in taking advantage of the Huayi Brothers’ strong connections and distribution capabilities in China.
Jeff Robinov began his career in the movie business as an agent for Writers & Artists, leading them to join International Creative Management also as an agent, working with some of Hollywood’s leading directors with the jewel in his crown being Chris McQuarrie who won an Academy Award award for The Usual Suspects.
Robinov gave up his career as an agent to join Warner Bros. Pictures in 1997 with his first job at the studio being Senior Vice President of Production, where he remained for five years until becoming President in charge of Production in 2002. During his time in that role Warner Brothers grossed one billion-dollar annually both in the domestic market as well as overseas. Thanks to these remarkable results Jeff Robinov was promoted to president of the Warner Bros Pictures Group at Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. remaining in the post from November 2007 till when he was surprisingly dismissed in July 2013.