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Their company has acquired Moonbug Entertainment Ltd., the company behind kids’ shows CoComelon and Blippi, it said Thursday evening. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Bloomberg pegged the value of Moonbug at $3 billion.
Moonbug’s founders, CEO René Rechtman and COO John Robson, as well as its existing management team and shareholders, will retain equity stakes in Mayer and Staggs’ company.
“John and I have built a category-leading, digital-first kids entertainment business based on strong values and content that is focused on digital platforms,” Rechtman said in a statement. “Our vision is to build global family franchises, which is wholly aligned with Kevin and Tom’s vision and experience. I have had the pleasure of working with them both earlier in my career and am thrilled to be reunited to build the next global powerhouse of entertainment. You could not find stronger partners in our industry.”
“We have known René and his innovative team for years, including during our time together at Disney, and they have built a perfect example of the type of category-defining business we are looking to bring into our company,” Staggs and Mayer added in a joint statement. “They know how to identify and support brands that are beloved by millions of families across the globe. We and our partners at Blackstone look forward to helping expand Moonbug’s portfolio of titles and further extend its franchises across digital platforms and key licensing and merchandising channels.”
The acquisition is the second major deal this year for the content company, which is being bankrolled by private equity giant Blackstone. In August they purchased a controlling stake in Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, valuing that company at more than $900 million. They subsequently held talks with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc.
Mayer has said that he and Staggs are in the market pursuing “category-defining businesses and brands,” saying at a conference in September that “the bond between creators and their followers is very emotional and deep, and it can be mined for a lot of opportunity.”
“So, I like the idea of taking television and movie product and extending that relationship into social media and trying to engender new revenue streams,” Mayer added.
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