12 MAR 2024

Scholastic to acquire 9 Story for $185 million

With this deal, Scholastic aims to broaden the audience for its library of children’s stories.

12 MAR 2024

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Scholastic, publisher and distributor of children’s books, has agreed to acquire 9 Story Media Group, which creates, produces and distributes television content for kids through an animation studio and a consumer products division, for $185 million. Through the investment, Scholastic will acquire 100% of the economic interest and a minority of voting rights in 9 Story.

“This highly strategic combination, adding 9 Story’s industry-leading capabilities with Scholastic’s trusted brand and proven ability to create iconic children’s series and franchises, has tremendous potential to build deeper connections with young people through our stories, as the pages of our books come to life on screens and through merchandising. At its core, Scholastic’s 360° content creation strategy is about engaging children with reading, and we have introduced our stories to generations of kids by reaching them where they are,” said Peter Warwick, Scholastic President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are thrilled to build upon our more than 20-year relationship with 9 Story’s exceptional management team and employees, whose culture and values could not be better aligned with our own.”

Iole Lucchese, Scholastic Board Chair and President, Scholastic Entertainment, added, “By bringing together Scholastic’s knowledge of what kids love and our proven track record of successful media development with 9 Story’s top-rated global production, distribution and licensing capabilities, I am confident we can meet the continued, strong demand for high-quality kids and family entertainment. Today’s announcement presents a huge opportunity to expand the footprint of Scholastic’s authors and illustrators and to build global franchises on every platform, creating more value for the creators and for our shareholders.”

9 Story’s business divisions include Brown Bag Films, the award-winning animation studio, which has won 21 Emmy® Awards and two Oscar® nominations; 9 Story Distribution International, the global distribution division, which represents more than 5,000 half-hour episodes of 2-D and 3-D animated and live action programming for kids, including “Clifford the Big Red Dog®” and “A Kind of SparkTM”; and 9 Story Brands, the consumer products division, which builds global kids’ brands both on- and off-screen, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood®,” “Karma’s World®” and “Super Why®.” 9 Story has strong momentum, recently announcing a significant deal with Crayola Studios to handle production and distribution on all new, original projects, as well as the acquisition of Portfolio Entertainment’s library, production slate, and development projects, which added more than 550 half-hours of content.

Vince Commisso, President and Chief Executive Officer, 9 Story, said, “We’ve been fortunate to work with Scholastic for decades, going back to my own start with the family-favorite production, ‘The Magic School Bus®.’ The combination of our global studios, sales and distribution capabilities with Scholastic’s existing media business, iconic name and unique capabilities opens even more opportunities to deliver compelling stories and build impactful brands for audiences worldwide. We’re eager to begin bringing together our complementary talents to enhance Scholastic’s position as a top developer, producer and distributor of kids and family content.”