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Grom buys Top Draw Animation

Kids-logo-460_2Sander SchwartzPhilippines-based Top Draw Animation is the latest international toon studio is sell to a larger group.

Grom Holdings, the parent of kids social network Grom Social, has paid an undisclosed amount for 100% of the shares in TDA, which provides services to shows such as My Little Pony and Tom and Jerry and employs more than 500 staff at its headquarters.

Grom’s push into television cranked into gear when it hired former FremantleMedia Kids & Family Entertainment chief Sander Schwartz as president.

The company said both companies would benefit from the kids markets in the US and internationally, with Grom Social set to ramp up production on a video content library and TDA continuing with service work.

Grom has produced live-action, short-form content since its inception in 2012, but will now create in-house animation for its social website and mobile apps.

After an extensive search, we identified TDA as ‘best in class’ for their international reputation for top quality animation, excellent management team and long track record of consistent and strong profitability,” said Schwartz. “This acquisition brings Grom Social one step closer to becoming the preeminent online and digital destination for kids.”

TDA founder, CEO and managing director Wayne Dearing will continue to operate and oversee the Manila-based 2D producer on a day-to-day basis. He will also become executive VP, global finance at Grom Social, having held similar roles at Hanna Barbera Australia and Asia.

He will report to Schwartz, and, according to a statement, “become an integral part of Grom’s growth plans for the future”.

“The opportunity to join Grom Social and become a part of its growth was a compelling one,” said Dearing. “Transforming our company into a major player in digital media has been the focal point of our strategy to grow our business.

“By joining forces with Grom Social, we will achieve that goal and set the stage for strong growth within both the traditional television animation sector and new animated content for digital media.”

Grom Social was launched five years ago as a safe social network for kids by then-12-year-old Zach Marks, and has now has three million registered members across 200 territories.