Dark Horse Partners With Chinese Company Vanguard Visionary Associates

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Investment will allow Dark Horse to develop properties, expand internationally

Dark Horse Entertainment announced that it has formed a partnership with Hong Kong-based entertainment company Vanguard Visionary Associates. Dark Horse Comics CEO and founder Mike Richardson told the ICv2 website that he will retain a "large chunk" of the company after a "large investment into a number of areas, including a stock purchase,... a development fund and a film fund, investment in the publishing and product divisions, and expansion of our retail efforts."

Vanguard Visionary Associates chairman Stanley Cheung, former chairman of Walt Disney Company in Greater China, is joining the five-person board of Dark Horse Entertainment. Richardson will remain CEO of the Oregon-based company and oversee its operations.

Dark Horse Entertainment owns Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Studios, and and retail chain Things From Another World. All three subsidiaries are reportedly receiving an investment as part of the deal.

Richardson said the partnership "gives us access to new markets," and he "did this deal to accelerate company growth. Nothing like cash and new markets to help with that task." Before the current partnership developed, Richardson said his company began working with Vanguard Visionary Associates "to build a film fund." Richardson added, "This new arrangement will allow us to accelerate our growth and extend our reach worldwide… It will also present new opportunities for our employees as well as the talented content creators we work with."

Dark Horse Entertainment is planning to expand in China and other international markets. The company also plans to use the partnership to finance development of properties it currently owns and acquire new properties for adaptation.

Richardson founded Dark Horse Comics in 1986, and Dark Horse Entertainment and Dark Horse Studios launched in 1992. The company's current projects include Netflix's The Umbrella Academy and Polar, a Syfy series, and Neil Marshall's Hellboy film.

Sources: ICv2 (Milton Griepp), The Hollywood Reporter (Graeme McMillan)

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