Within a year of Belgium-based Studio 100 Group acquiring a majority stake in German brand management and media company m4e—and becoming one of the largest animation and live-action studios in Europe with 17,500 episodes of kids fare—the company now has its sights set on the US market. Studio 100 has acquired New York-based Little Airplane Productions, the Emmy-winning animation studio known for shows like The Wonder Pets, Small Potatoes, P. King Duckling and Super Wings (pictured).
Following the acquisition—financial terms of which were not disclosed—Little Airplane Productions will focus on developing and producing new projects in cooperation with Studio 100′s animation studios (Studio 100 Animation in Paris and Flying Bark Productions in Sydney), and will continue to develop content for third-party clients. Munich, Germany-based Studio 100 Media will handle international content sales, licensing and merchandising, and global distribution of the company’s brands.
Moving forward, Little Airplane founder and president Josh Selig will work closely with Studio 100′s co-founder and CEO, Hans Bourlon, as well as Hans Ulrich Stoef, CEO of Studio 100 Media and m4e.
Little Airplane Productions has worked on a number of international co-pros, partnering with broadcasters like Disney, Nickelodeon and Sprout in the US, as well as with KiKA, CBeebies and Canal+ in Europe. The company has also ramped up its production activities in Asia. Super Wings, for example, is a co-production with China’s Alpha Group and Korea’s Funny Flux Entertainment. The series recently landed a global distribution deal with Netflix.
Studio 100 is also no stranger to the Asia-Pacific region. In November, the Maya the Bee and Vic the Viking producer inked an agreement with China’s Dadi Media for exclusive pay-TV, free-TV and VOD distribution rights for a number of its series in Mainland China. The company’s global expansion efforts were put into high gear in January with its 68% majority stake in m4e (The Beatrix Girls, Lizzie McGuire). The companies have since established a five-year plan for new productions that encompass 10 new shows and five feature films. Together, m4e and Studio 100 already have 380 episodes and three feature films currently in production.