Exclusive: Moonbug CEO eyes ‘ambitious’ acquisitions


Cocomelon outfit Moonbug Entertainment is ramping up its expansion efforts, with plans for further IP acquisitions before the end of the year.

Moonbug CEO Rene Rechtman told TBI that the London and LA-based kids content company hopes to do “a big acquisition or two – if we’re lucky both this year; at least one of them this year.”

The Candle Media-owned content label, which promoted Gina Costelloe to head of distribution and originals for EMEA last week, aims to become “the leading digital-first kids’ entertainment company in the world” through a strategy of launching original productions alongside acquiring existing children’s content that it can then build into global franchises.

Rene Rechtman

Rechtman highlighted past acquisitions such as Singapore-based Oddbods firm One Animation and Canadian YouTube brand Little Angel as the type of opportunities that Moonbug is looking for, which he describes as: “Digital first, with great awareness among audiences, but maybe a little bit less affinity, where we can go and build global franchises. We are looking for more like that and we will acquire more over the next 12 months.”

The Moonbug boss shared that the company’s $3bn acquisition by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ Blackstone Group-backed investment outfit Candle Media earlier this year had allowed it to become more ambitious “across every genre and every format in the kids space.” Rechtman said the firm can now pursue “the most interesting and potentially biggest IPs out there,” noting that “with the deep pockets of Blackstone there’s nothing we cannot do.”

He further heaped praise on Mayer and Staggs, and the access he now had to their combined experience, adding: “I mean we’re talking about two of the brains behind many years of success at Disney and acquisitions like Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Kevin was a big part of that and a big part of our business model is acquisitions, so having that day-to-day strategic interaction is just phenomenal.”

Look out for the August/September edition of TBI Magazine at MIPCOM next month to read our full interview with Rene Rechtman

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