AID Partners to Pay $60 Million for Freedom! Network Stake

Patrick Frater
Variety

AID Partners, a Hong Kong investment firm, has agreed to pay US$60 million (HK$468 million) for a majority stake in any.TV, which owns the multi channel network Freedom! Network.

Multi channel networks are platforms that host and promote large numbers of online channels by creators. Freedom! Network is housed on Google’s YouTube and also has its own online community. It claims to have over 177,000 channel partners, 211 million subscribers and 46 billion aggregate views globally to date.

“Videos will soon become the prevailing form of media and will make up a substantial portion of the global Internet traffic by 2019. Moreover, the change in viewing habits led by millennials will cause a paradigm shift from traditional TV to digital video, which is catalyzed by the advancement in mobile technology and the evolution of user-generated content,” AID said in a regulatory filing. “Such emergence of online video will put the enlarged group in a favorable position to becoming a branding and marketing powerhouse for creators of this new form of content.”

Headed by Kelvin Wu, AID is listed on the second tier Growth Enterprise Market section of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company said it is buying 50.01% of any.TV.

AID was previously involved in buying and selling the HMV chide store chain in Asia. Before that Wu and AID helped Hong Kong-based cinema exhibition firm Golden Harvest to become an early investor in Legendary Entertainment (then called Legendary Pictures), the Hollywood production firm that was this year sold to China’s Wanda for $3.5 billion.

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