Genius Brands takes a stake in YFE

After Genius Brands International, Inc. (Marks of genius) recent acquisition of WOW! Unlimited Media Inc., the company announced an agreement to acquire a 28.6% stake in Your Family Entertainment AG (YFE), which will be followed by a mandatory takeover bid for the outstanding shares of YFE. A leading European distributor and broadcaster of programs for children and families, YFE brings to the agreement a global footprint of streaming and broadcasting on satellite, cable, OTT and terrestrial networks. The transaction, alongside the recent acquisition, will expand Genius Brands’ catalog, giving it a streaming foothold outside the United States in Europe and the rest of the world. The announcement was made jointly by Andy Heyward, President and CEO of Genius Brands, and Dr. Stefan Piëch, CEO of YFE.

Subject to YFE shareholder approval, YFE will be renamed Genius Family Entertainment AG and operate its children’s networks under the Kartoon Channel brand! Worldwide. It will retain its independent listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and will be headed by the current Management Board made up of Dr. Piëch and Bernd Wendeln. Piëch will also join the board of directors of Genius Brands in the United States

Genius Brands has agreed to acquire 3,000,000 shares of YFE for € 6 million, followed by a mandatory takeover bid to acquire additional outstanding shares of YFE at € 2.00 per share. In addition, it plans to invest up to € 7 million to further capitalize YFE and invest in growing the global digital and linear footprint of channels, as well as launching key intellectual property.

Companies share the goal of bringing “content with a purpose” to children around the world. Piëch is a leader in the development and promotion of content for non-violent children that supports environmental causes and sustainability.

It was also announced that the former General Manager of Disney Television International and Senior Vice President of Disney Channel Worldwide, Paul Robinson, will become General Manager of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide and oversee the international development and growth of Kartoon Channel! In his previous role, Robinson was responsible for global programming and production strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide, and founder of Toon Disney and Playhouse Disney Channels internationally. He was also Managing Director of Disney Television UK, including four TV channels. He will be based in London.

Boasting the growth opportunities presented by the deal and by the merger of IP assets and earnings, Heyward commented: “The strategic transaction with German YFE… children’s entertainment in today’s world and for coming years.

He further expressed the common goals of the organizations and its leaders, adding: “With Stefan’s award-winning commitment to family-friendly content and Bernd’s experience and network in the European market (eg , ProSiebenSat.1 Group, Tele München Group), we look forward to jointly delivering content with purpose to children all over the world.

With classic European titles from YFE like Fix & Foxi and Albert, and titles produced in the United States, including Quite strange parents, Piëch sees a way to provide quality content while being part of the biggest brands Genius and Kartoon Channel! banner, using existing and new intellectual property to create and produce quality new programming.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this transaction with Genius Brands,” he said, “… and we look forward to creating value for our shareholders around the world and for the families who watch our award-winning shows. . ”

Lou Fazio, former director of acquisitions and programming at Walt Disney Television, will oversee the programming of international channels, supporting Robinson in the development and deployment of the Kartoon channel! content. The global rollout of the channel’s content-based consumer products will be overseen by Kerry Phelan, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Genius Brands, Global Franchise Management, who previously managed worldwide consumer product licenses for Lucasfilm. , Pixar and DreamWorks.

Source: Genius Brands International, Inc.

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