Leonine Studios founds Leonine Animation Studios and increases its stake in Toon2Tango

Leonine Holding GmbH is founding Leonine Animation Studios GmbH together with Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris, and all parties will pool their animation activities in this division in the future.

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Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell and Jo Daris

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Germany’s independent media company Leonine Holding GmbH has announced that it is founding Leonine Animation Studios GmbH together with Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris, and that all parties will pool their animation activities in this division in the future. The three partners will each contribute their shares in Toon2Tango GmbH & Co. KG to Leonine Animation Studios GmbH with effect from January 1, 2024. Leonine Holding GmbH has held a 25.1% stake in Toon2Tango GmbH & Co. KG since October 2022.

Toon2Tango GmbH & Co. KG now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonine Animation Studios GmbH. Leonine Holding GmbH holds a stake of 50% in Leonine Animation Studios GmbH, with Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris also jointly holding 50%. Leonine Holding GmbH also has the option to acquire a controlling majority in Leonine Animation Studios GmbH from 2025. The managing directors of Leonine Animation Studios GmbH are Bernhard zu Castell, who as Chief Distribution Officer is responsible for the distribution and licensing division of Leonine Holding GmbH, and the two Toon2Tango managing directors, Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris.

Leonine Animation Studios GmbH was described as a growth and investment platform for the development, production and acquisition of new IPs with international scope as well as other selective M&A activities in the animation sector. Initial projects include the production of the animated feature film “Santa.com,” which will be released in German cinemas in 2025 via Leonine Studios, and the TV series spin-off of the well-known cinema franchise “Niko,” as well as the development of the series “Littlest Robot,” which was presented at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse in September 2023, and the preschool series “Hey Fuzzy Yellow,” which is currently in production.

“We want to consistently expand our successful children's and family entertainment segment and this step will create the conditions for further growth in this exciting market. We are delighted that we can now deepen our partnership with Toon2Tango, Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris after our first year of successful collaboration,”  commented Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine Studios.

Bernhard zu Castell, Chief Distribution Officer at Leonine Studios, added: “The expansion of our partnership with Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris is an important strategic step for our positioning in the animation sector. Since our investment in Toon2Tango in October 2022, we have completed hit series such as ‘Agent 203’ and ‘Monster Loving Maniacs,’ among others, which have sold extremely well worldwide. The development, production and acquisition of major IPs is the perfect fit for our leading position in marketing and distribution, enabling us to create holistic brand worlds ranging from cinema and home entertainment to radio plays and podcasts.”

Lastly, Hans Ulrich Stoef, CEO and producer at Toon2Tango, declared: “We are very pleased to take the next step in the rapid development of Toon2Tango with our dream partner Leonine Studios and to now become part of the Leonine group. We have found the perfect match which offers us both the creative freedom and the necessary economic support to consistently expand in the areas of production, distribution and IP, and brings us closer to our goal of becoming one of the leading European animation companies.”

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