Alibaba boosts entertainment business with 10 billion yuan fund
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An employee is seen behind a glass wall with the logo of Alibaba at the company's headquarters on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Chance Chan/File Photo
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BEIJING (Reuters) - In a major reorganization of the company's entertainment assets, Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) has announced the formation of a new digital media group along with plans for a 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) fund for new projects.
The move marks a total consolidation of Alibaba's media businesses, including Youku Tudou Inc., UCWeb Inc. and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd.<1060.HK> as well as the company's sports, games, literature, music and digital entertainment divisions.
Yu Yongfu, former CEO of UCWeb, will become the chairman and CEO of the newly formed Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, reporting directly to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.
Youku Tudou chairman and CEO Victor Koo will chair the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Strategy and Investment Committee, which will oversee the management of the planned fund for the new digital media group, which an Alibaba spokeswoman confirmed will be over 10 billion yuan.
The company declined to mention specific investment projects, saying that the funds will be used across their digital media and entertainment businesses.
Alibaba Pictures, the only publicly listed company under the new entity, has already undergone a series of consolidations, including the recent addition of online ticketing service Tao Piao Piao.
The entertainment company also recently entered an agreement with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Pictures, agreeing to co-produce and finance films.
Youku Tudou, which is approaching its tenth anniversary in December, was fully acquired by Alibaba in October last year as part of a $3.5 billion deal that took the company private.
Yu will retain his previous titles as president of AutoNavi and president of Alibaba Mobile Business Group, both Alibaba subsidiaries.
(Story refiles to correct spelling to Victor Koo in fourth paragraph.)
(Reporting by Catherine Cadell; Editing by Christian Schmollinger/Keith Weir)
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