American, Canadian Animation Digital Studios Merge to Create Wow! Unlimited

32 BKLOT Escape From Planet Earth H
Rainmaker Entertainment/The Weinstein Co.

Vancouver-based Rainmaker Entertainment is in production on the Weinstein Co. comedy "Escape From Planet Earth."

Fred Seibert's Frederator Networks has been acquired by 'Escape From Planet Earth' studio Rainmaker Entertainment to create a kids and animation powerhouse.

Media veteran Fred Seibert's Frederator Networks just got more animated.

The New York-based digital animation studio, which has produced series for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, has been acquired by Canadian animation studio Rainmaker Entertainment to create WOW! Unlimited Media. The share purchase deal will see Frederator founder Seibert become chief creative officer and the largest shareholder of WOW!, with fellow animation veteran Michael Hirsh, founder of Nelvana and Cookie Jar Entertainment, taking the helm as chairman and CEO.

The deal aims at combining Frederator's digital animation networks, including the Channel Frederator multichannel network on YouTube, with Rainmaker's Vancouver-based animation studio to create and distribute kids and animation content across all media platforms.

Rainmaker also is acquiring kids and youth content producer Ezrin Hirsh Entertainment, founded by Hirsh and Bob Ezrin, the veteran music producer (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed), who becomes vice-chairman. WOW! will be capitalized in part by an underwritten private placement with proceeds of around $11 million.

"Frederator's goal of pursuing world-class talent will be increased exponentially by creating WOW! Unlimited with Michael Hirsh and his team, and Rainmaker Entertainment," Seibert said Tuesday in a statement.

"Through partnerships with great media and telecom companies around the world, we will build the definitive next generation global kids and youth company," Hirsh said in his own statement.