In an unexpected twist in the saga of Arc Productions, new Boat Rocker Media subsidiary Jam Filled Entertainment has entered an agreement to acquire “substantially all of the business” of the troubled Toronto animation studio.
Jam Filled was acquired by Boat Rocker Media just last week, and the new Arc agreement comes on the heels of the studio’s sudden closure on Friday, July 29. The company entered receivership the week following, with Deloitte Restructuring taking control of the business on an interim basis.
The news of Jam Filled’s offer was revealed in a memo sent to Arc staff by Deloitte, which noted that the deal is conditional on further due diligence by participating parties. “We are hopeful that this transaction can be concluded in the next two weeks and that the business of Arc can be restarted with new ownership and limited disruption,” the memo states.
The number of staff to be affected by the acquisition is not clear, with the memo only stating that the offer’s conditions will rest in part on “sufficient acceptance of offers of employment or engagement by the former employees of Arc to permit the continuation of key projects.” As of the company’s closure, it had approximately 500 employees.
Arc holds, and has held, the contracts for animation work on a number of high-profile projects, including most recently the upcoming TV movie Thomas & Friends: The Great Race (Mattel Creations), 2017 Sprout series Kody Kapow (Zodiak Kids) and new Amazon Studios pilot Lost in Oz. It has also worked on feature films including Gnomeo & Juliet and Dolphin Tale.
“We believe this is very good news and the best way forward for employees and other stakeholders of Arc,” Deloitte concluded in its memo to former Arc staff.
The deal once again exponentially expands the scope of Boat Rocker Media’s animation ambitions, which have seen the company make a number of key acquisitions and investments in the past year, including Ottawa-based Jam, Radical Sheep and a minority investment in Toronto-based Industrial Brothers.