WILDBRAIN COMPLETES HOUSE OF COOL ACQUISITION, SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDING AND ENHANCING ITS PRE-PRODUCTION CAPABILITIES
Founders Wes Lui and Ricardo Curtis join WildBrain Studios in newly created roles of Co-General Managers of House of Cool
Toronto, ON – July 19, 2023 – WildBrain Ltd. (“WildBrain” or the “Company”) (TSX: WILD), a global leader in kids’ and family entertainment, has closed its previously announced acquisition of House of Cool, one of the top pre-production companies in the global animation industry. A strategic extension of WildBrain’s focus on creative excellence, the acquisition significantly expands and enhances the Company’s pre-production capabilities for premium animated series, specials and features.
Under the agreement, WildBrain has acquired full ownership of House of Cool for consideration of $15.5 million, with $10.25 million through the issuance of 4,479,406 WildBrain shares and the remainder in cash (subject to a customary working capital adjustment). Additionally, there is a potential earn-out of up to $6 million based on collection of certain tax credits earned by House of Cool up to closing.
Bringing their deep experience and creative expertise, House of Cool executives and co-founders, Wes Lui and Ricardo Curtis, have joined the WildBrain Studios senior management team in the newly created roles of Co-General Managers of House of Cool.
Josh Scherba, President and CEO of WildBrain, said: “We’re delighted to close our acquisition of House of Cool and to officially welcome Wes, Ricardo and their talented team to WildBrain. House of Cool is recognized as one of the very best pre-production houses in the global animation industry, and this highly complementary acquisition meaningfully broadens and deepens WildBrain’s capabilities for both our own and partner productions.”
Lui and Curtis said: “We’re incredibly excited to conclude the acquisition process and to have officially joined forces with the brilliant team at WildBrain. There are great opportunities ahead, as we continue to offer our clients world-class pre-production services, while also collaborating with WildBrain on their extensive catalogue of content and the creation of exciting new IP. Our combined strengths make us a potent creative force in the animation industry.”
Toronto-based House of Cool is a highly regarded industry leader in pre-production, an essential early planning stage in the life of a feature or series during which the story is developed and creative choices are made to establish the look, feel, style and pacing of a project, creating the blueprint for the launch of full production. The House of Cool brand, which is widely recognized and respected in the animation industry, will be maintained as a distinct identity under the WildBrain banner.
Founded in 2004, House of Cool has worked with top studios, platforms and IP owners across the industry on some of today’s most recognizable animated features and series for kids and families as well as other demographics. They have worked on over 20 theatrical films, which have grossed over US $6.23 billion of box office receipts, providing a variety of pre-production services, including storyboarding; conceptual and visual development; character, environment and prop design; and the creation of animatic test videos. Notable past feature projects include Despicable Me for Illumination; The Angry Birds franchise for Rovio and Sony Pictures Animation; and The Peanuts Movie, Ferdinand, and the Ice Age and Rio franchises for 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. Notable series include What if…? for Marvel Studios; Gravity Falls for Disney; and The Magician’s Elephant, Trollhunters, Maya and the Three, and Dragons: Race to the Edge for DreamWorks and Netflix.
All figures CAD unless otherwise noted.
For more information, please contact:
Investors: Kathleen Persaud – VP Investor Relations, WildBrain
Media: Shaun Smith – Sr. Director, Global Communications & Public Relations, WildBrain
At WildBrain we inspire imaginations to run wild, engaging kids and families everywhere with great content and beloved brands. With approximately 13,000 half-hours of filmed entertainment in our library—one of the world’s most extensive—we are home to such treasured franchises as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Inspector Gadget and Degrassi. Our integrated, in-house capabilities spanning production, distribution and licensing set us apart as a unique independent player in the industry, managing IP across its entire lifecycle, from concept to content to consumer products.
At our state-of-the-art animation studio in Vancouver, we produce award-winning, fan-favourite series, such as The Snoopy Show; Snoopy in Space; Sonic Prime; Chip and Potato; Strawberry Shortcake: Berry in the Big City; Carmen Sandiego; Go, Dog. Go! and many more. Enjoyed in more than 150 countries and on over 500 streaming platforms and telecasters, our content is everywhere kids and families view entertainment. WildBrain Spark, our AVOD network, has garnered over 1 trillion minutes of watch time on YouTube, offering one of the largest selections of kids’ content on that platform. Our leading consumer-products and location-based entertainment agency, WildBrain CPLG, represents our owned and partner properties in every major territory worldwide. Our television group owns and operates some of Canada’s most-viewed family entertainment channels.
WildBrain is headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WILD). Visit us at wildbrain.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” under applicable securities laws with respect to the Company including, without limitation, statements regarding WildBrain’s acquisition of House of Cool, the strategic and operational benefits expected to be derived from the acquisition by WildBrain, and the purchase price and earn-out under the acquisition. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on information currently available to the Company. Actual results or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, among other things, include the ability of WildBrain to successfully integrate House of Cool and its business, the availability of and cost of financing, general economic and market conditions and the impact of such conditions on the industries in which WildBrain operates, competition and the potential impact of industry mergers and acquisitions, market factors, WildBrain’s ability to identify and execute anticipated production, distribution, licensing and other contracts, contractual counterparty risk, the ability of WildBrain to realize the expected value of its assets, supply chain and other related disruptions, and risk factors discussed in materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Information Form and annual Management Discussion and Analysis. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.