Hollywood, Wall Street Team Up to Ride Asia's Internet and Mobile Boom

  • KKR to commit money from its Asian Fund II to Emerald Media
  • Former News Corp deputy's firm to be minority investor

KKR & Co. and former News Corp. President Peter Chernin will partner on as much as $300 million of investments in media and entertainment businesses across Asia, a Hollywood-Wall Street tie-up intended to ride the region’s surging Internet and mobile use.

The buyout firm will set aside capital from its KKR Asian Fund II in new vehicle Emerald Media, which the Chernin Group will join as a minority co-investor, the companies said in a statement. Under the deal, KKR also bought a stake in Chernin’s CA Media, an existing portfolio with investments in India and Indonesia.

The fund will be one of the largest U.S. investment vehicles geared toward Asian media and comes as Hollywood focuses increasingly on online and mobile streaming services to replace declining DVD sales. Asia has the world’s largest Internet and mobile population, while growing fourth-generation capabilities across China, India and Southeast Asia are driving online video and music consumption.

“The media and entertainment sector is on the cusp of a strong growth phase — driven by media convergence, an attractive investment environment, and rising discretionary spends,” said Rajesh Kamat, who will jointly head Emerald Media with Paul Aiello.

Since it was founded in 2010 by Rupert Murdoch’s former lieutenant, the Chernin Group has backed investments in startups including Pandora Media Inc., Twitter Inc. and an online video venture called Otter Media with AT&T Inc. that owns Crunchyroll and Fullscreen, the company said. Chernin also backed films such as 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE