Mick Desmond exits IPCN as CMC buys in

China-focused rights business IPCN has secured an injection of capital from Chinese state-backed private equity fund CMC, while former ITV executive Mick Desmond has sold his share in the company and exited the business.

Rebecca-YangThe undisclosed investment from CMC, executed through its investment vehicle Gravity, gives it 48.1% of a new holding company, Pegasus. IPCN holds the remainder of the Pegasus equity.

Mick Desmond is the former chief exec of ITV Broadcasting in the UK. He cofounded IPCN with Rebecca Yang in 2007 after leaving the UK broadcaster.

He has now sold his shareholding in the company for an undisclosed amount, and will exit as chairman.

CMC executives Thomas Hui and Li Ruigang will sit on the board of Pegasus, alongside Yang.

IPCN brokers formats rights deals between Chinese and Western partners. Its most notable successes include Chinese adaptations of Supernanny, The Secret Millionaire, Got Talent and The Voice.

IPCN said today it will use the CMC funding to “move further into IP creation and original content production for domestic Chinese and global broadcast markets with a focus on non-scripted formats, scripted drama and comedy”.

Yang added: “China Media Capital’s investment in IPCN will enable us to fast-track our growth strategy and build on our entrepreneurial spirit by expanding our local in house capability for original content and licensed format TV production.

“We will continue to grow and invest in our leadership position in the advertiser funded content space through the introduction of innovative new bespoke opportunities for global brands seeking powerful marketing vehicles to engage Chinese consumers.”

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