Brown Bag Films, the award winning animation studio, has announced that it has been acquired by 9 Story Media Group, one of north America’s largest animation studios.
The acquisition has created one of the strongest and most creative kids entertainment companies in the world.
Brown Bag Films will retain its brand, with Cathal Gaffney, founder and CEO, Darragh O’Connell, founder and creative director, and the senior management team continuing to lead the company.
As a result of the acquisition, Brown Bag Films will be able to exploit more of its original content due to 9 Story’s strategic strengths in licensing, distribution and merchandising.
The company will continue to focus on its international co-productions and commissioned shows, with service work remaining as a key focus for the business.
Brown Bag Films also plans to hire an additional 50 staff in the near future as the company looks to reach new markets with its content.
This milestone is the latest in a series of positive developments for Brown Bag Films, with staff numbers almost tripling since the start of the decade; the opening of a 2D studio in Manchester last year and securing a number of accolades for its animation, which includes Oscar nominations for Give Up Yer Aul Sins (2002), Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty (2010), three Emmy awards for Peter Rabbit (2014), and a host of BAFTA, Emmy and Annie nominations for their hit shows Octonauts, Doc McStuffins and Henry Hugglemonster.
The decision was taken after Brown Bag Films’ co-founders, Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O’Connell, explored a range of options to take the company to the next level. Gaffney and O’Connell opted to combine forces with 9 Story Media Group due to their shared ambition, culture and approach to creativity. The deal will see both companies leverage each other’s strategic strengths in order to achieve their vision of becoming the largest pure play kids’ content studio in the world.
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, 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.
Commenting on the announcement, Cathal Gaffney, co-founder and CEO of Brown Bag Films, said: “This is a coming together of two great companies with a shared love of animation and storytelling that really resonates with kids. I am truly excited about this opportunity that we have worked so hard on and I look forward to continuing to produce the best animated content for children across the globe with 9 Story long into the future.”
Darragh O’Connell, co-founder and creative director, added: “We are exceptionally proud of what we have built as an Irish company but 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 greater bandwidth and wider global reach for getting our shows into production and watched by as many children as possible.”
Vince Commisso, CEO of 9 Story Media Group, also said: “This transformative transaction, which 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.”