Chapman Gets Investment, Restructures Executives

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Fifi and the Flowerpots producer Chapman Entertainment has received an influx of cash and reorganized itself, with many top executives leaving the company.

Company co-founders Keith Chapman and Andrew Haydon will remain at the U.K.-based company, while co-founder, managing diirector and executive producer Greg Lynn has decided to leave the company.

Other changes include: Valerie Fry will become commercial director, with responsibility for licensing and marketing, with the support of Clare Wiggins, head of marketing and live events, and Samantha Clapham, product development executive. The company will additionally look to appoint a licensing and marketing agent

Emily Whinnett will continue as director of production and will manage the final stages of filming across both Little Charley Bear and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, ahead of delivery to CBeebies later this year and in 2012.

The finance team will continue to be led by Erin Duffy in the short term with the support of Agnieszka Earl. Emma Way will remain as legal affairs manager, and Suzanne Rivers will continue in a wider role as office manager and also taking on other responsibilities at Chapman.

“We are devastated to have to let go so many first class people who have contributed so much to our growth and success over the years. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done. But with soaring costs and challenging trading conditions, we’ve been forced to make these tough decisions,” said Keith Chapman in a statement. “However, Charley and Raa Raa both show extremely positive early signs, and with Roary just launched into the U.S. through Toys R Us, with a major roll-out in early 2012, the future is looking bright.”

The company’s first hit, Fifi and the Flowertots is one of the top preschool shows in the U.K. on Five’s Milkshake! Currently it has 73 worldwide licensees with Flowertot fun reaching over 187 countries including the United States and Canada. Since its launch in 2007, Roary the Racing Car has taken pole position by securing 108 licensees globally, and he has been sold to more than 150 countries. Together Little Charley Bear and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion have 52 international licensees and to date have been sold to almost 20 countries.