Aardman Buys Majority Stake in New York's Nathan Love

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The creator of 'Wallace and Gromit' and 'Shaun the Sheep' is looking to make a bigger splash in the U.S. advertising market.

Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep creator Aardman, based in Bristol, England, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in New York animation company Nathan Love in a move designed to push into the U.S. advertising market in a bigger way.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. Nathan Love, which does animation work for TV commercials, will change its name to Aardman Nathan Love.

Aardman called the transaction "a ground-breaking venture for the studio, signaling its first permanent production facility outside the U.K." It said it also "further establishes the company’s commitment to its advertising business."

David Sproxton, co-founder and executive chairman of Aardman, said: "We’re so excited to welcome Nathan Love to the Aardman family. Teaming up with an existing company gives us the opportunity to hit the ground running and a solid base from which to grow. This venture is not about sending work back to the U.K. It’s about building a new business in New York for American agencies, and we feel we can do this more effectively by being there."

He added: "Aardman’s vision is to be the most inspirational animation company in the world, in the eyes of its talent, partners and audiences, for generations to come. Aardman Nathan Love will allow us to expand this vision in the U.S."

Nathan Love, founded by Joe Burrascano in 2007, produces advertising for such clients as Kellogg’s, Kraft, Pepsi, NBCUniversal and Nickelodeon.

Said Heather Wright, executive producer of partner content at Aardman: "Joe Burrascano and the team at Nathan Love bring a tremendous amount of new and exciting energy to the table. They share our love of great craft, with a strong focus on character and storytelling, so our relationship is one of mutual respect. As the worlds of advertising and content become increasingly intertwined, this partnership will give us the opportunity to develop longer format and interactive projects in the U.S."

Burrascano said: "The partnership feels very natural, our values and philosophy are closely aligned, and the potential for what we can do together is incredibly inspiring. We hope agencies and clients will feel the same way, and that in working with us they will have access to a unique wealth of talent and storytelling experience."