9 Story Media Group Acquires Award Winning Animation Studio Brown Bag Films

TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it 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 Cathal Gaffney, Founder and CEO of Brown Bag Films, Darragh O'Connell, Founder & Creative Director, 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.

Vince Commisso, President & CEO of 9 Story Media Group, said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be joining forces with Brown Bag Films. 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."

Cathal Gaffney, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brown Bag Films, said: "Both 9 Story and Brown Bag Films share a love of animation and storytelling that really resonates with kids.  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."

Darragh O'Connell, co-founder and Creative Director, added: "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.  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!"

About Brown Bag Films
Brown Bag Films are one of Europe's most exciting, original and successful creative-led animation studios. After 21 years in business, their Dublin-based headquarters continue to produce cutting-edge animation for the international market, bagging numerous awards along the way. These include Oscar® nominations for Give Up Yer Aul Sins (2002), Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty (2010), three Emmy® awards for Peter Rabbit (2014), A Peabody award for Doc McStuffins (2015) and a host of BAFTA, Emmy® and Annie nominations for their hit shows Octonauts, Bing BunnyDoc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster.

Brown Bag Films' much-loved TV shows are viewed by millions of children worldwide and include Doc McStuffins, Henry Hugglemonster, Bing Bunny, Peter RabbitOlivia, Noddy in Toyland, and Octonauts.  With a second studio in Manchester and an office in LA, Brown Bag Films are committed to producing the highest-quality, cross-platform animation with strong stories and engaging characters.

Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell, Brown Bag Films have worked with some of the world's biggest entertainment names, including Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC, Amazon Studios, Acamar Films and Silvergate Media. www.brownbagfilms.com

9 Story Media Group is a leading content creator, marketer and distributor of kids & family focused intellectual property. Recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood, Wild Kratts, Numb Chucks, Arthur and Peg + Cat, 9 Story represents over 1800 half hours of animated and live action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms.  With one of North America's largest animation studios, 9 Story employs over 250 creative and production staff and has produced over 900 half hours of award-winning children's content. 9 Story is owned by senior management, ZMC, Zelnick Media Capital and media entrepreneur Neil Court. www.9story.com

SOURCE 9 Story Media Group

Image with caption: "9 Story Media Group (CNW Group/9 Story Media Group)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150818_C4855_PHOTO_EN_478856.jpg

For further information: Jennifer Ansley, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, 9 Story Media Group, +1 416 530-9900 ext 230, jennifera@9story.com

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