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Alibaba and Chinese Government Acquire Strategic Stake in World’s Largest Cinema Operator

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Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Co Ltd sold a 12.77% stake in its Shenzhen-listed Wanda Film Holdings unit to e-commerce giant Alibaba and state-owned Cultural Investment Holdings Limited (CIH) for 7.8 billion CNY (US$ 1.24 billion), bringing on the pair as the second and third largest shareholders in the world’s largest cinema operator. CIH, also known as Wentou Holdings, is a Shanghai-listed entertainment company controlled by the Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of Beijing. Zhou Maofei is Director of the Cultural Assets Supervision and Administration Office of Beijing and Secretary of the Communist Party of China Leading Group.

Specifics

According to a securities filing released on February 5, 2019, Alibaba will acquire a 7.66% interest in the company through its subsidiary, Hangzhou Zhenxi Investment Management Company, while CIH will take on a 5.11% stake, leaving Wanda Group a controlling interest of 48.09%. Alibaba will leverage its strengths in big data, technology, and online ticket sales – as well as its collection of IP-producing media and entertainment assets – to collaborate with Wanda Film in the areas of film distribution, marketing, and related businesses, while CIH will lend its expertise in driving cultural tourism opportunities, according to a press release.

CIH has its origins as an auto parts company back in the 1990s, eventually moving into film by 2016. CIH spent US$ 187 million for a 75% stake in Framestore, a U.K.-based visual effects studio, which worked on movies such as The Martian, Harry Potter, Gravity and The Dark Knight.

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Scatec Solar Places Big Solar Bet in Bangladesh

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Oslo-based Scatec Solar ASA, a publicly-traded independent power producer operating in the emerging market solar development space, plans to construct and own a 800 mega watt photovoltaic solar power plant in Chandpur, Bangladesh. Scatec Solar has solar assets scattered across numerous emerging markets such as South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Egypt, Jordan and the Czech Republic.

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APFC Sells $1.4 Billion Stake in Simpson Housing

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (APFC) embarked on a major shift in its real estate portfolio by selling a 50% ownership stake in Denver-based Simpson Housing LLLP for US$ 1.4 billion. Simpson Housing had made up roughly 24.7% of APFC’s US$ 5.6 billion real estate portfolio. The other owner of Simpson Housing is that State of Michigan Retirement Systems.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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ISIF Invests in Cybersecurity Firm Vectra

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The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) committed €10 million to Vectra Networks, Inc., a San Jose, U.S.-based cybersecurity company. The investment capital will assist Vectra in creating a research and development center in Dublin.

ISIF is part of a larger funding round of €30 million. These other investors include Khosla Ventures, Accel Partners, DAG Ventures, AI Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures and Wipro Ventures.

Kevin Dillon, who is the former Head of Microsoft Ireland and a Managing Partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the board of directors at Vectra.

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