‘CoComelon’ owner Moonbug sells to Blackstone-Backed Company

Moonbug Entertainment, the company behind the wildly popular children’s show “Cocomelon”, has been acquired by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs’ unnamed media venture. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Bloomberg reports that the price tag was $ 3 billion.

This marks the second acquisition of the former Disney directors’ company, which is backed by private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc. In August, Mayer and Staggs bought Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production banner for $ 900 million.

Moonbug’s founders René Rechtman and John Robson will, in addition to Moonbug’s management team, retain the shares in Mayer and Staggs’ company.

“We have known René and his innovative team for years, including during our time together at Disney, and they have built a perfect example of the type of category-defining business we want to bring into our business,” Mayer and Staggs said in a statement. . “They know how to identify and support brands that are loved by millions of families around the globe. We and our partners at Blackstone look forward to helping expand Moonbug’s portfolio of titles and further expand their franchise across digital platforms. and important licensing and merchandising channels. “

Rechtman added: “John and I have built a category-leading, digital-first children’s entertainment company based on strong values ​​and content focused on digital platforms. Our vision is to build global family franchises that are fully in line with Kevin and Tom’s vision and experience. “I have had the pleasure of working with both of them earlier in my career and am excited to be reunited to build the next global powerhouse of entertainment. You could not find stronger partners in our industry.”

On Wednesday, both Information and the Wall Street Journal reported that the deal was nearing a close, with Information estimating sales of $ 3 billion and Journal estimating $ 2.75 billion.

Moonbug’s “Cocomelon” especially gained momentum during the pandemic and became a hit on children’s television when it was added to Netflix in 2020. The show started on YouTube with baby, adult and animal characters singing along to various songs and nursery rhymes. and is currently the most watched YouTube channel in the United States.

Moonbug Entertainment was founded by Rechtman and Robson in 2018. The company looks for kid-friendly content on platforms like YouTube and brings them to the worlds of TV, movies, streaming and merchandise.

Mayer and Staggs also recently revolved around Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s entertainment company Westbrook Inc., but negotiations for a sale ended in late October, when Variety exclusively reported. Sources noted that it was possible that both sides would reconsider a possible deal in the future, but quoted that there were difficulties in placing a valuation on Westbrook, which was established just two years ago.

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