MoFo handles Chinese TV deal for Zone Vision

Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has snared its first deal for Zone Vision Networks, advising the London-based company on the purchase of China’s Encore International.

Zone Vision has bought the assets and the majority of the equity of Encore International from Liberty Media Corporation. Encore International will be run as a joint venture with JS International (owned by the chairman of Encore International), so both companies will benefit from any sale of Encore International in the future. Encore International was the first foreign-owned TV content business in China.

Neil Foster, a corporate partner at MoFo, told The Lawyer that the firm could not act for Zone Vision before because of a conflict regarding one of the company’s former shareholders. MoFo also represents US satellite TV provider EchoStar, which until January held a stake in one of Zone Vision’s subsidiaries. At the start of the year, Zone Vision was bought in its entirety by UGC Europe, thereby removing MoFo’s conflict.

The deal threw up regulatory challenges for MoFo due to stringent media ownership rules in China.

The seller, Liberty Media, was advised by Sherman & Howard partner Peggy Knight.