Television Business International

Investor boards Michael Grade-backed indie

A venture capital group has acquired a 20% stake in UK production studio Infinity Creative Media, which Michael Grade (pictured) chairs, for £2.6 million (US$4.1 million).

Finestripe - Michael Grade Stars of the Musical TheatreGate Ventures’ investment in Infinity values the company at £13 million, and comes as the firm looks to international and Chinese markets. Dr Johnny Hon becomes a company director and board member after his Gate Ventures company became a shareholder.

Infinity is behind UK terrestrial Channel 5’s Classic Car Show, for which Sony Pictures Television has take international sales rights.

Former Simon Cowell and Ant & Dec manager Russ Lindsay founded Infinity, with ex-Channel 4 CEO, BBC chairman and ITV executive chairman Grade heading the board as chairman.

Investor Hon is best known as executive producer of George W. Bush biopic W and successful Chinese 2006-7 drama series Da Ren Wu. He will bring to Infinity “a wealth of new connections in China, Hong Kong and across Asia more widely”, the company said.

“Infinity Media is a business with fantastic global potential and an expert management team to turn that into reality. I am very excited to be joining them,” said Hon, who is considered an expert in the arts.

“I know from first-hand experience just how great an opportunity the Chinese entertainment market represents – and what it takes to ensure a film or TV production finds success in China. I believe there are some fantastic opportunities for Infinity Media in Asia and look forward to working with Mr. Lindsay, Lord Grade and the team to capitalise on those.”

“Dr Hon has fantastic connections in China and Hong Kong and the potential of that region can hardly be over-estimated in our industry,” said Grade. “The synergy between his experience and our vision offers huge potential for the growth of Infinity. We are delighted to welcome Dr Hon on board.”