Moonbug Entertainment has been bought by former Disney execs Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, operating through their yet-to-be-named media company that’s financed by private equity firm Blackstone.
Moonbug’s founders René Rechtman (CEO) and John Robson (COO), as well as its existing management team and shareholders, will have equity shares in the Mayer/Staggs/Blackstone-backed company.
Transaction terms for the acquisition were not disclosed; however, media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, have reported that the deal was worth around US$3 billion. It still needs to go through the regular closing conditions before being finalized.
Moonbug is behind several very successful digital-first children’s brands, including the incredibly popular CoComelon (pictured), Blippi (which it acquired with CoComelon in 2020) and Little Baby Bum. After the company’s launch in 2018 and a subsequent US$145-million funding round, kids execs quickly jumped on board, including former Netflix director Andy Yeatman as managing director and Disney EMEA alum David Levine as head of studio.
This is the second major deal for Mayer and Staggs, who acquired Reese Witherspoon’s media venture Hello Sunshine earlier this year. In 2019, Hello Sunshine launched a kids and animation unit led by former Nickelodeon exec Claire Curley.