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9 Story Media Group Acquires Brown Bag Films

Brown Bag Films to retain its brand, with founders Cathal Gaffney, Darragh O’Connell and the senior management team continuing to lead the company.

TORONTO -- 9 Story Media Group has acquired award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films. With headquarters in Dublin, a studio in Manchester and an office in Los Angeles, Brown Bag Films employs 170 creative and production staff and is known for producing hit animated children’s series including Octonauts, Doc McStuffins, Bing Bunny and Henry Hugglemonster. This is the first acquisition for 9 Story following an equity investment from media entrepreneur Neil Court and ZMC, Zelnick Media Capital last year. Terms of the transaction, which closed on August 17, 2015, were not disclosed.

Brown Bag Films will retain its brand, with Brown Bag Films founder and CEO Cathal Gaffney, founder & creative director Darragh O’Connell, and the senior management team continuing to lead the company. Brown Bag Films plans to hire an additional 50 staff in the near future as the company looks to reach new markets with its content.

Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell, Brown Bag Films is renowned for its rich heritage in 3D animation and content, which includes producing four of the top ten pre-school TV shows in the U.S. and entertaining 100 million kids across the globe. 9 Story Media Group is best known as an industry-leading 2D animator, with one of the largest studios in North America, and a highly successful global distribution division.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be joining forces with Brown Bag Films,” said 9 Story Media Group president & CEO Vince Commisso. “Cathal, Darragh and their team in Ireland have a well-established track record and an outstanding reputation for producing high quality animation. This transformative transaction extends our footprint into Europe, broadens our content offering to distribution partners and audiences worldwide, combines best in class CGI and 2D, and optimally positions the company for tremendous growth. We look forward to having Cathal, Darragh and the Brown Bag team, join the 9 Story family.”

“Both 9 Story and Brown Bag Films share a love of animation and storytelling that really resonates with kids,” Gaffney said. “I am truly excited with this opportunity that we have worked so hard on and look forward to producing the best animated content for children across the globe long into the future. This is great news for everyone in Brown Bag Films and our clients. It’s even better news for everyone who watches our shows, as together with 9 Story we’ll be able to bring more great animation to screens across the world.”

“We are exceptionally proud of what we have built as an Irish company and for the next part of our journey, it makes total sense for us to join forces with 9 Story,” O’Connell added. “The combined entity will give us a larger bandwidth and bigger global reach for getting our shows into production and watched by as many children as possible. This deal allows us to concentrate on what we have always done very well – making great shows for kids. We LOVE animation and now we will be able to make even more of it!”

Source: 9 Story Media Group

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.