Acquisition will help SPT strengthen its entry into the kids genre.
Sony Pictures Television has announced the acquisition of Silvergate Media – the company behind the hit Octonauts preschool brand among others.
Silvergate will continue to be managed by ceo Waheed Alli, while William Astor will continue as chairman.
Under the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment – through a wholly-own subsidiary – has acquired 100% of Silvergate Topco, which has assets including Silvergate’s 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda Group, which holds the rights to Octonauts.
In addition, SPE has acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco, which produces the Peter Rabbit television series and will continue to be majority-owned by Waheed Alli. The total purchase price was approximately $195 million.
The acquisition – alongside the announcement to expand the business of Sony Pictures Animation to include animated TV series – underlines SPT’s strategy of diversifying its studio business and growing key genres.
“We are all excited about joining SPT and the creative teams within the SPT family,” said Waheed. “2020 will see a new and strong development slate coming to market with some exciting new series in the pipeline.”
Mike Hopkins, chairman at Sony Pictures Television, added: “We are excited to extend our capabilities and gain valuable children’s IP to bolster our entry into the kids’ space. Silvergate gives us a great building block to expand into this genre in a meaningful way.”
Silvergate was founded in October 2011 through the purchase of rights to two preschool properties. Over the past several years, the company has significantly expanded its children’s IP, while it also has a strong and growing presence in China.