Sony Pictures Television (“SPT”) announced the acquisition of independent media company Silvergate Media (“Silvergate”) from the management team of Silvergate and from Shamrock Capital, a Los Angeles based investment firm. Silvergate focuses on developing, producing and licensing children’s animation with offices in both London and New York.
Silvergate will continue to be managed by CEO Waheed Alli, and William Astor will continue as Chairman.
Under the deal, Sony Pictures Entertainment (“SPE”), through a wholly-owned subsidiary, has acquired 100% of Silvergate Topco Limited, whose assets include Silvergate’s 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda Group, which holds the rights to Octonauts. Additionally, SPE has acquired a minority stake in Silvergate BP Bidco Limited, 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.
“We are all excited about joining SPT and the creative teams within the SPT family. 2020 will see a new and strong development slate coming to market with some exciting new series in the pipeline,” Alli stated.
This acquisition, alongside the announcement to expand the business of Sony Pictures Animation to include animated television series, underlines SPT’s strategy of diversifying its studio business and growing key genres.
Mike Hopkins, Chairman, Sony Pictures Television, said, “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. Silvergate also has a strong and growing presence in China, collaborating with Chinese conglomerates and effectively monetizing IP with its partners.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the team at Silvergate,” said Will Wynperle, Partner at Shamrock. “Over the past several years, the company has significantly grown its portfolio of brands, many of which can be seen on a global basis. We have enjoyed working with the Silvergate team over the past several years and they are excited about their new partnership with SPT.”
Alvarium served as financial advisor to Silvergate Media and Foot Anstey LLP served as its legal counsel. Latham & Watkins served as legal advisor to SPT.
Silvergate’s current production slate includes three new seasons of global hit Octonauts (subtitled Above and Beyond), two 70-minute movies and a 44-minute musical starring the intrepid ocean adventurers; a second season and 70-minute movie for Netflix original Hilda; season 2 of Sunny Day for Nickelodeon; and new series Made By Maddie, Monkey with a Toolbelt, Creature Cases (Netflix) and a new Disney series TBA.