Alibaba acquires Damai to expand live events biz
Alibaba Group’s movie division is paying US$167m to take a majority stake in Pony Media Holdings, the parent company of promoter Damai, which produces concerts, festivals, theatrical events, exhibitions, and sporting events across mainland China.
The South China Morning Post reports that Alibaba Pictures filed details of the deal with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX). The news outlet is also owned by Alibaba.
The filing states that the acquisition will allow the expansion of the “upstream presence of the Damai brand in the live entertainment industry value chain, such as events production and promotion, venue operation and artist management.”
Damai has more than 100 million registered customers, paving the way for Alibaba Pictures to “further build brand awareness for its offline entertainment business.”
For the quarter ending June 2023, Pony Media sales totalled CNY4 billion (US$547m), surpassing the CNY3 billion (US$410m) achieved for the previous full financial year
The filing adds, “The target group is considered a strategically valuable asset to the company, diversifying [our] revenue structure into live entertainment and expanding IP monetisation channels.
“The acquisition will also strengthen the company’s competitive position by consolidating customer resources and industry expertise from the target company.”
Despite Pony Media reporting net losses over the last three financial years, Alibaba believes that the company has turned a corner post-pandemic, noting that “it has recently witnessed a material recovery in the business.”
Indeed, for the quarter ending June 2023, Pony Media sales totalled CNY4 billion (US$547m), surpassing the CNY3 billion (US$410m) achieved for the previous full financial year, which ended in March 2023.
Alibaba Pictures president, Jie Li, comments, “We believe this transaction heralds a new chapter for the new Alibaba Pictures. Before today’s announcement, we had already established a deep connection with Damai through our exclusive service agreement, and accumulated over 20 million Taomai VIP members to date.
“Following the transaction, we will strive to integrate our resources, expand a presence along the industry value chain, drive development through technology innovation, and ultimately create value to our customers and shareholders.”
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