France’s Mediawan has been back on the acquisition trail, this time buying UK-based production company Wildseed Studios in a deal that marks the first deal for its children’s division.
Mediawan Kids & Family has taken a majority stake in Wildseed, which was founded in 2013 by former BBC Children’s acquisitions chief Jesse Cleverly and Miles Bullough, the former head of broadcast at Aardman Animations.Financial details have not been revealed, but the prodco has been behind family live action series The Last Bus for Netflix, feature film Hungerford, children’s animation series Dodo for Sky Kids and animated comedy Counterfeit Cat for Disney Channel.Mediawan already owns five kids-skewing production companies, including Method Animation, which is behind a remake of Le Manège Enchanté (aka The Magic Roundabout). Other labels include ON Classics, Joann Sfar’s Magical Society, 2D animation label Somewhere Animation and tweens live-action studio Elliott Studio.It also operates an animation division within its Palomar operation in Italy, while carrying 2,500 hours of shows via its sales arm.
It has also been buying across genres and earlier this week struck a deal with Entourage Ventures that will see the investment group provide a €100m ($100m) fund to support international scripted, kids and documentary projects.Julien Borde, president of Mediawan Kids & Family, said: “Wildseed is a renowned and well-established UK producer with a strong network of international talent and partners. They have a unique take on innovation and a real know-how on talent incubation.” Borde added that Wildseed would “pursue the development of its own slate of content but also partner with our studios in Europe to bring new co-productions to the market.”
Cleverly added that the deal would allow Wildseed “to discover more award-winning creators and their original properties, produce more world-class content for audiences below 30 and grow Wildseed within the Mediawan group.”
He continued: “One of the attractions of Mediawan for us was the ability to continue to drive our own diverse slate of shows, as well as working with other studios in the group to develop co-productions with a truly international focus.”