Chicken Soup for the Soul acquires Kutcher’s A Plus for $15m

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, a company building VOD networks that provide positive content, has acquired Ashton Kutcher’s A Plus for US$15m in cash and stock.

Kutcher, who co-founded and chaired the digital media company, received shares for his portion of A Plus and increased his existing stake in Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE).

The former That 70s Show star co-founded A Plus in 2014 and majority ownership was acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul, a parent company of CSSE.

A Plus is a mobile-first platform that specialises in positive journalism. It gained 4.8bn video views in the past year, according to the company.

Kutcher said: “The full integration of A Plus and CSS Entertainment makes perfect sense to further CSS Entertainment’s content creation and distribution strategies. I look forward to working with the team to continue to grow CSS Entertainment with A Plus as a wholly-owned part of the company.”

William J. Rouhana, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of CSSE, said: “Our historic relationship with A Plus has greatly benefited our company as we used A Plus’s ability to generate video views to help attract major advertisers to sponsor our television series. As we ramp up series production, we expect to rely even more heavily on the A Plus distribution capability.

“By eliminating video view distribution costs, this acquisition is expected to result in $5 million of cost savings in 2019 and will enhance our ability to increase the commitments we make to advertisers and increase our number of original series.”

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