Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is getting kid-friendly with Silvergate Media. SPT acquired the producer behind Hilda, Octonauts and the animated Peter Rabbit series for US$195 million in a bid to expand into the children’s space.
SPT is buying Silvergate from its current management team and the LA-based investment firm Shamrock Capital, which acquired 51% of the company in 2016. Silvergate CEO Waheed Alli and chairman William Astor—who together founded the company in 2011—will continue in their respective roles.
Among the assets acquired in this deal are Silvergate Topco and Silvergate BP Bidco. This acquisition will see SPT acquire 100% of Silvergate Topco, including Silvergate’s 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda Group, which holds the rights to the animated underwater adventure series Octonauts, set to bow its sixth season in 2020.
Additionally, Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco, which produces the animated Peter Rabbit series. Silvergate BP Bidco will continue to be majority-owned by Alli.
The acquisition comes after SPT struck a first-look TV deal with online storytelling platform Wattpad (known for teen and YA content) and invested in the UK-based preschool SVOD platform Hopster. Additionally, Sony Pictures Animation recently announced it is expanding to include animated television series.
In a statement, SPT chairman Mike Hopkins said the acquisition adds valuable children’s IPs to the company’s roster and bolsters its entry into the kids space. “Silvergate gives us a great building block to expand into this genre in a meaningful way,” Hopkins said.
Silvergate is in the works on several kids properties right now, including a second season of Hilda for Netfllix, the new animated TV series Monkey with a Tool Belt with China’s Wanda Kidsland, and Nick Jr.’s Sunny Day.