Moonbug Entertainment — the children’s entertainment company that owns titles including CoComelon, Blippi, and Little Baby Bum — entered into an acquisition deal with a newly formed media company that’s backed by investment capital from Blackstone.
The company acquiring Moonbug is led by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, former executives at Disney. Moonbug’s CEO René Rechtman and COO as well as the existing management team and shareholders will retain equity stakes in the company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Moonbug’s children’s titles are distributed across streaming and digital platforms including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, YouTube, and Sky.
“John and I have built a category-leading, digital-first kids entertainment business based on strong values and content that is focused on digital platforms. Our vision is to build global family franchises, which is wholly aligned with Kevin and Tom’s vision and experience,” said Rechtman. “I have had the pleasure of working with them both earlier in my career and am thrilled to be reunited to build the next global powerhouse of entertainment. You could not find stronger partners in our industry.”
This is the second acquisition for Mayer and Staggs’s new Blackstone-backed media company. The first was Hello Sunshine, a women-led content and media content and media company founded by Reese Witherspoon. Hello Sunshine has produced films and television titles including Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, and Little Fires Everywhere.
“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 are looking to bring into our company. They know how to identify and support brands that are beloved by millions of families across the globe,” said Mayer and Staggs. “We and our partners at Blackstone look forward to helping expand Moonbug’s portfolio of titles and further extend its franchises across digital platforms and key licensing and merchandising channels.”
Blackstone is investing via funds affiliated with its flagship private equity business. Other entertainment, digital, and content-focused investments across the firm’s business include theme park operator Merlin Entertainments, water park operator Great Wolf Resorts, royalty-free soundtrack provider Epidemic Sound, music rights organization SESAC, online mobile ad platforms Vungle and Liftoff, and genealogy platform Ancestry.com, among others.