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Boat Rocker plans to go public

The prodco behind The Next Step and Dino Ranch will use the proceeds to secure and develop new IPs, repay debt and fund strategic investments.
February 16, 2021

Boat Rocker Media has filed an initial public offering (IPO) application in a move that, if approved, will see the Toronto-based media company trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

In documents filed with the application, Boat Rocker says it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to secure and develop IPs; fund further acquisitions or strategic investments; repay all of its term debt; and support the business plans of its scripted division and the franchise and brand management teams.

Founded in 2003 by Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier, Boat Rocker’s early projects include Darcy’s Wild Life, a Canadian adaptation of America’s Next Top Model, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and half-hour comedy Billable Hours.

On the kids content front, the company has had significant success with The Next Step. And its new animated series Dino Ranch premiered earlier this year on Disney Junior.

Since its launch, the company has been focused on rapid growth through acquisitions. In Canada, Boat Rocker purchased Radical Sheep, Jam Filled Entertainment and Arc Entertainment in 2016, and then acquired Proper Television in 2017 and took a 70% stake in Insight Productions in 2018.

The company’s M&A strategy shifted to global markets in 2018, when it acquired Fremantle’s kids and family division and L.A.-based Matador Content. The following year, Boat Rocker picked up US-based Platform One Media and bought a majority stake (51%) in talent management company Untitled Entertainment.

More recently, the media company realigned Boat Rocker Studios and rebranded Platform One under this banner in December. Schneeberg and Fortier serve as co-executive chairmen of Boat Rocker Media and co-chairmen of Boat Rocker Studios. John Young, who joined in 2009, is CEO of Boat Rocker Media.

Pictured (left to right): Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier and John Young

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