Genius Brands International, Inc. has acquired a 28.6% interest in Your Family Entertainment AG following its recent Canada’s WOW! Unlimited Media Inc. acquisition. The investment follows a mandatory tender offer of the outstanding shares of YFE.
The announcement was made today jointly by Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands, and Dr. Stefan Piëch, CEO of YFE. The terms of the deal require Genius Brands to obtain 3,000,000 shares of YFE for EUR 6 million to be followed by a mandatory tender offer to acquire additional outstanding shares of YFE at EUR 2.00 per share.
YFE, subject to YFE shareholder approval, will be renamed Genius Family Entertainment AG, and will operate its children’s networks under the brand Kartoon Channel! Worldwide, maintaining its independent listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and will be run by the current Management Board of Dr. Piëch and Bernd Wendeln. Additionally, Genius Brands plans to invest up to EUR 7 million to further capitalize YFE and invest in growing the global digital and linear channel footprint, as well as launch key intellectual property.
Dr. Piëch, who also sits on the Supervisory Board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, and Siemens Austria AG, will further join Genius Brands’ Board of Directors in the U.S. Genius Brands and YFE share the goals of bringing “Content with a Purpose” to children worldwide.
YFE is one of Europe’s largest distributors and broadcasters of high-quality programs for children and families, which brings a global award-winning streaming and broadcast footprint on satellite, cable, OTT, and terrestrial networks. The YFE transaction, alongside the recent announcement of the acquisition of WOW! Unlimited Media, would significantly expand the Genius Brands catalogue and give the Company a streaming foothold outside the United States in Europe and the rest of the world, from which it expects to fuel growth.