Khazanah Divested its Stake in Iskandar Malaysia Studios

80% of the studio will be under Studio Management Services Sdn Bhd (SMS) in partnership with Singapore’s GHY Culture & Media Holding Co Ltd

Iskandar Malaysia Studios in Johor - Pic credit: Iskandar Malaysia Studios Facebook page

Granatum Ventures Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned special purpose vehicle of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, has signed a definitive share sale agreement to sell its entire stake in Iskandar Malaysia Studios Sdn Bhd (IMS) to Studio Management Services Sdn Bhd (SMS) in order to draw foreign investment, and benefit Malaysia’s economy and society.

Singapore’s GHY Culture & Media Holding Co Ltd and its subsidiary, GHY Culture & Media (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd are partners in the SMS consortium, which is headed by the present management team of IMS in Malaysia.

According to Khazanah, the transaction would be for 100% ownership in the running business, IMS, which is renting the land where the studio premises are located from Tanjung Bidara Ventures Sdn Bhd, a fully-owned special purpose entity of Khazanah.

It further stated that SMS is anticipated to further improve the industry services offered by Iskandar Malaysia Studios and to open up new collaborations and production opportunities for Malaysia.

“The collaboration and crowd-in of Malaysian entrepreneurs and capable regional partners would catalyse further growth and development of the ecosystem in IMS,” it said.

As stated by Khazanah, the collaboration would increase the studio’s use by regional and international players, which may be facilitated by the local production environment, improved ability to draw huge productions, and sharing of a sizable content production pipeline.

“Khazanah remains committed to retaining the positive economic spillover benefits on the social economy while aligning its strategic imperatives of advancing Malaysia, ensuring value creation, capacity building and societal impact for the country,” it added.

In a filing on the Singapore Exchange on 31 March, GHY Culture & Media (GHY), a provider of entertainment and content, announced the acquisition of IMS. The filing states that the Malaysian affiliate of GHY has arrangements in place to buy an indirect 80% share in IMS.

It also said that the aggregate consideration payable by GHY Malaysia was RM8.84 million (US$2.01 million). IMS’s net asset worth at the end of 2022 was RM32 million.

GHY produces and promotes plays, movies, and concerts in the Asia-Pacific region. IMS, which opened its doors in 2014, was used to produce the first season of the Netflix series Marco Polo. Along with the reality TV programme “Asia’s Got Talent,” it also contributed to the development of the popular Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians.

Film sets, television studios, water filming tanks, and production support facilities are among the features listed by GHY for IMS.

“These include five state-of-the-art stages which are versatile working spaces, which also have stage pits for water filming and dry use, as well as two 12,000 square feet television studios which are fully equipped and can accommodate large audience television shows,” GHY said.

GHY added that the acquisition will allow it to develop a stronger regional team and increase potential co-production opportunities with other local and foreign producers.

“The proposed acquisition is in line with the group’s strategy to expand the international reach and strengthen the regional presence of our TV programme and film production business as the acquisition of the IMS Film Facilities through the proposed acquisition will enable the group to establish its own filming and production base in Malaysia,” it added.