MoonScoop has acquired 51% of independent animation studio Mike Young Prods. (MYP) and its distribution arm Taffy Ent. The combined unit brings together titles such as MoonScoops CODE LYOKO, TITEUF, THE FANTASTIC FOUR, FUNKY COPS, DR. DOG and LITTLE VAMPIRE and Mike Youngs TODDWORLD, DIVE OLLY DIVE and PET ALIEN. MoonScoop plans to invest funds into Mike Young Prods./Taffy Ent. The two distribution teams will manage a combined catalogue of 2,400 half-hour episodes.
Licensing activities based across three countries, the U.S., U.K. and France will focus on maximizing the brand potential of each hit property. This division will develop strategic partnerships with targeted major licensees and key licensing agents.
Corporately, the new group hits a projected turnover of 50M with 250 staff working in the three locations Paris, Los Angeles and Angoulême, France. MoonScoop is now focusing its internal growth on building long-term youth franchises for its major properties and will be seeking further external acquisitions to help achieve this objective.
The deal also brings together a team of experienced and respected executives. MoonScoops Benoit di Sabatino and Christophe di Sabatino, Axel Dauchez and Nicolas Atlan will work with MYP/Taffy Ent. principals Mike Young, Liz Young, and Bill Schultz to maximize the resources of the new joint company.
MoonScoops Maia Tubiana will continue in her role of vp/exec producer overseeing a number of productions including DR. DOG and LIONEL MARTY will remain head of MoonScoops sales activity. Taffy Ent.s evp Regis Brown will continue to oversee the sales of MYPs catalogue and acquisitions. The two sales teams will also work collaboratively to achieve optimal distribution results.
Benoit di Sabatino and Christophe di Sabatino co-presidents at MoonScoop, said, There is a great synergy between the two companies and this is an exciting deal for MoonScoop. This transaction will allow us to further our presence in the competitive U.S. market across all our key business areas; production, distribution and licensing. Mike Young Prods./Taffy Ent. has established a great reputation in the animation business and the experience and skills of the team there will be tremendous assets as we move forward.
Commenting on the relationship, MYP/Taffy owners, Mike and Liz Young and Bill Schultz said, We are really excited about the future. Moonscoop have been great creative and business partners for the last three years. We enjoyed the dating relationship so much we decided to get married! Moonscoops vision for quality and brand building is a great fit. Our collective resources will make us a very strong player in the worldwide business of family entertainment.
MYP/Taffy was advised on the deal by west coast-based independent investment banking firm Salem Partners.
Leading kids and animation brand MoonScoop (www.moonscoop.fr) was established in 2004 following the acquisition of leading youth producer and distributor France Animation by Antefilms Prod., one of Europes most dynamic and creative production houses. MoonScoop employs 150 people at two sites, Paris (pre-production, post-production, distribution and marketing) and Angoulême (3D animation and motion capture).
Mike Young Prods. represents the combined experience of partners Mike Young, creator of the British Academy award-winning series SUPERTED; Liz Young, supervising producer of Scholastic Ent.'s Emmy-nominated CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, and its spin-off, PUPPY DAYS; and two-time Emmy Award-winning Bill Schultz, producer of THE SIMPSONS and exec producer of the critically acclaimed TODDWORLD for Discovery Kids and PET ALIEN for Cartoon Network Worldwide. For more information, visit www.mikeyoungproductions.com.
Taffy Ent. is a full service distribution, licensing and merchandising rights management company dedicated to children's and family programming. The company has a complete in-house distribution and post-production servicing staff, as well as a licensing and merchandising operation.