Saban Capital Group, a private investment firm founded by media mogul Haim Saban, has opened an Asia office in Hong Kong. Set up by its wholly owned subsidiary Saban Capital Group (Asia), the office is led by Sumeet Jaisinghani, who has re-located to Hong Kong from Saban Capital Group’s Los Angeles office, and serves to expand the firm’s investment activities in Asia, including India.

Saban formed Saban Entertainment, an international television, production, distribution and merchandising company that produced The X-Men and other shows around Marvel Comics characters. In 1995, he merged his company with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Kids Network, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Company for $5.3 billion in 2001. He has an estimated current net worth of $3.5 billion and is ranked by Forbes as the 104th richest person in the USA.

Saban Capital is a media and communications investment firm founded in 2001 and started investing in Asia from 2010. The firm is looking at deals across strategies like growth equity, active minority investments, recapitalisations and co-control situations.

Its three portfolio companies in the region include Media Nusantara Citra (Indonesia’s largest and only vertically integrated media company), Celestial Tiger Entertainment (a JV with Malaysia’s Astro and Lionsgate on pay TV channels and content creation & distribution across Asia) and NYSE-listed Taomee, the largest children’s online entertainment company in China.

In 2003, Saban also led a group of investors who acquired a controlling stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Germany’s largest broadcasting group, which was acquired by private equity majors KKR and Permira in 2007.

Jaisinghani, who joined Saban Capital Group in 2008 and is currently a director, has been involved with all the investments made by the firm in Asia. He sits on the board of Celestial Tiger Entertainment and is an observer on the board of Taomee. Jaisinghani will now be overseeing an investment team, dedicated to transaction sourcing and execution from Hong Kong.

“Asia is home to some of the world’s most innovative and creative entrepreneurs in media and communications. We are excited about expanding our investment franchise into Asia and the opening of Saban Capital Group’s (Asia) office in Hong Kong is a strong sign of our commitment to the region,” said Haim Saban, chairman and chief executive officer of Saban Capital Group.

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