Animated children's series producer 9 Story Media Group has swooped to acquire award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films.
The acquisition, the terms of which have not been disclosed, is the first of such moves for 9 Story following an equity investment from media entrepreneur Neil Court and ZMC, Zelnick Media Capital in 2014. Brown Bag Films will retain its brand, with founder and CEO Cathal Gaffney, founder and creative director Darragh O'Connell, and the senior management team, continuing to lead the company. Brown Bag Films plans to hire an additional 50 staff in the near future as the company looks to reach new markets with its content.
With headquarters in Dublin, a studio in Manchester and an office in Los Angeles, Brown Bag Films employs 170 creative and production staff and is known for producing hit animated children's series including Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing Bunny and Henry Hugglemonster. Its 3D animation and content portfolio includes producing four of the top ten preschool TV shows in the US.
Commenting on the deal, Vince Commisso, president and CEO of 9 Story Media Group, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be joining forces with Brown Bag Films. Cathal, Darragh and their team in Ireland have a well-established track record and an outstanding reputation for producing high quality animation. This transformative transaction extends our footprint into Europe, broadens our content offering to distribution partners and audiences worldwide, combines best in class CGI and 2D, and optimally positions the company for tremendous growth."
Gaffney added: "Both 9 Story and Brown Bag Films share a love of animation and storytelling that really resonates with kids. I am truly excited with this opportunity that we have worked so hard on and look forward to producing the best animated content for children across the globe long into the future. This is great news for everyone in Brown Bag Films and our clients. It's even better news for everyone who watches our shows, as together with 9 Story we'll be able to bring more great animation to screens across the world."