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Tencent, PCCW buy into US studio STX

Chinese web video giant Tencent and Hong-Kong based TV and digital player PCCW have invested in fledgling US studio STX Entertainment.

Janice-LeeBoth Asian companies have made “significant strategic investments” in the film-focused producer and financier, which has pushed into television through drama series such as NBC’s State of Affairs and a new unscripted arm led by Punk’d creator Jason Goldberg.

STX has entered into content agreements with both PCCW and Tencent following their investments. This will see the LA-based company providing first-run and original Hollywood content, and co-created programming for PCCW to distribute across its linear and digital platforms in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and India.

STX also received investment from East West Bank’s Dominic Ng as well as existing investors TPG Growth, Hony Capital; Gigi Pritzker, Michael Pucker and their immediate family; and William Wrigley Jr.

Ng will join STX’s board of directors.

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed, but a Variety source suggested the investments valued STX at around US$1.5 billion.

STX, which TPG Growth partner Bill McGlashan and media exec Robert Simonds founded, is aiming to become a “fully integrated and diversified media company, designed to capture new global opportunities arising from a rapidly evolving media landscape”.

The new investment will see STX expanding further into the TV and international spaces, with former Film4 chief David Kosse recently hired to run the company’s overseas business.

“Developing deep relationships with smart, experienced, well-connected partners is a cornerstone of our value proposition,” said STX CEO and chairman Simonds. “We’re excited to be collaborating with PCCW and Tencent, extremely well-respected and powerful companies, as we execute on our long-term strategy.”

“The new alliance represents an important milestone in expanding PCCW’s strategic investments into compelling content creation, not simply for audiences in Hong Kong but also for international audiences,” said PCCW Media Group managing director Janice Lee (pictured).

“Furthermore, STX’s wide release of films and scripted television series can also be distributed across PCCW’s pay TV and OTT platforms, thus bringing the best content to viewers in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and India.”

Tencent president Martin Lau said the companies would partner “to capture the many opportunities the evolving media landscape presents”.