Friday, December 9, 2022

Cityneon receives new investment from 65 Equity Partners; rebrands as NEON

Cityneon Holdings has welcomed a fresh investment of S$150 million (US$105.5 million) from 65 Equity Partners, an independently managed investment firm wholly-owned by Temasek Holdings. Cityneon concluded a round of private funding that raised S$235 million last April, and the collective funds raised will be utilized to further strengthen the Group’s growth trajectory and aspirations.

65 Equity Partners now joins existing major institutional investors and shareholders — CITIC Capital, Pavilion Capital, EDBI, Qatar’s Doha Venture Capital, and SeaTown Holdings International, veteran entrepreneur and investor Johnson Ko, as well as Executive Chairman & Group CEO Ron Tan, to form a new investor base for the Group’s future.

“We are excited to partner Cityneon’s management team in its next phase of growth. Cityneon has a unique franchise, which provides IP-based immersive entertainment where it has built a leading position globally supported by a portfolio of high quality IPs. This investment aligns strategically with our mandate of supporting high growth, leading businesses led by founders and entrepreneurs, to help them scale and fulfill their growth aspirations, as well as facilitating their eventual public listing,” said Tan Chong Lee, Chief Executive Officer of 65 Equity Partners.

The funds raised will be strategically channeled towards the Group’s growth strategies globally, including expanding into new markets, acquiring of new intellectual property (IP), building up technological capabilities via the Company’s in-house R&D department, establishing new and profitable lines of businesses, and shoring up its balance sheet.

Credit Suisse acted as the Company’s sole financial advisor in this transaction.

Rebranding to NEON

The desire to rebrand Cityneon was driven by the Group’s enhanced vision to be the global leader in immersive entertainment while maintaining the link to its 65 years of legacy. The word “NEON” stems from the Greek word, “neos,” which means “new,” and staying true to its meaning, NEON will strive to always be relevant, offering new, exciting and epic experiences for fans and families around the world.

Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Cityneon, Tan said, “This successful round of funding is a testament of the confidence in the Group and affirms our trajectory of growth as a global leader in creating unique, immersive experiences for audiences worldwide. With the support of 65 Equity Partners, and our strong stable of existing shareholders, we are excited about future opportunities as we continue to strengthen our capabilities and expand the reach of our portfolio of IP experiences to accelerate growth into 2023 and beyond.

“Our rebranding into NEON, encompasses our vision of the convergence of the physical and digital space, transcending geographical limitations and create a fully integrated global experience for our visitors.”

New chapter of growth

The Group recently expanded into new markets and experiences, working with the governments of Peru and Egypt to present two Original Artifact IP Experiences — “Machu Picchu and the Golden Empires of Peru” and “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs,” showcasing authentic historical artifacts to audiences in major cities around the world as well as signing two new global IPs with Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and entering into a strategic partnership with the Qatar Free Zones. During the year, it also saw strong performance in key exhibitions including the Jurassic World: The Exhibition in London, Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs in San Francisco, and Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. in Chile and Tokyo.

Some of the next exciting projects on the docket include the world debut of Avatar: The Experience at the iconic Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, which opened on October 28, 2022, and Jurassic World: The Exhibition which will be launched in Japan in Spring 2023, and many more.

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