Chernin's media company nabs large Qatar equity investment

LOS ANGELES Thu Nov 8, 2012 4:17pm EST

LOS ANGELES Nov 8 (Reuters) - Former News Corp President Peter Chernin, whose two-year-old company produces "The New Girl" TV show and owns a stake in online music service Pandora, received a "significant" investment from the Qatar Holding Company to invest in media and technology companies.

The investment by Qatar Holding, an arm of the oil-rich state, follows an investment in April by a group led by Providence Equity Partners. The two infusions give privately held The Chernin Group nearly $300 million to expand the media holding company, according to one person with knowledge of the company.

Chernin intends to use the funds to add investments in the United States and Asia, the source told Reuters, but did not mention potential acquisitions. Terms of Qatar Holdings's investment were not disclosed.

Chernin, who left News Corp in 2009 after 13 years as chief operating officer, is aggressively building a media holding company. In April, it acquired 49 percent of production house Endemol India, with the goal of making it a leading TV, film and content producer in the country.

The company also owns a stake in Legend Fighting Championship, a Hong Kong-based mixed arts promoter.

"We're building a media and consumer technology (company)that will invest in premium content and digital media," Chernin said in an interview. "This gives us significant capital and expertise to significantly increase our efforts."

News reports said his company was interested in Endemol, the company that produces the CBS show "Big Brother" and ABC's "Extreme Maker Home Edition."

Chernin would not comment on the reports.

His company already has invested in digital companies, including online video company Fullscreen, video posting service Tumblr, and social gaming creator Scopely, according to its press release.

Chernin, who produces films and TV shows financed by News Corp's Fox, produced the 2011 film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," which generated $481.8 million in worldwide ticket sales. He also produces the Fox shows "Touch" and "Ben and Kate."