The acquisition is expected to fuel Blue Ant Media’s content sales business and worldwide video channels. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Blue Ant Media is a privately held firm whose production houses create content for multiple genres that include factual, factual entertainment, short-form digital series and kids programming. It maintains operations in Los Angeles, Singapore, Auckland, Dunedin, London, Sydney, Beijing and Taipei. Its assets include international children’s nature broadcaster ZooMoo Networks, and Runaway Play, a mobile game developer and publisher.
The acquisition includes the purchase of prestigious production houses NHNZ (formerly Natural History New Zealand), Beach House Pictures and Northern Pictures that license their content to digital and traditional channels worldwide.
“I am delighted that the RACAT companies are now part of the Blue Ant Media family. Our editorial focuses, product lines and territorial presences make us a perfect fit. While the RACAT businesses have achieved a lot in the last five years, there’s no doubt those achievements will be dwarfed by what we get done in the next five as part of Blue Ant Media,” said David Haslingden, CEO, RACAT.
Prior to launching RACAT in 2012, David Haslingden was president and COO of Fox Networks Group, a role he held after serving as CEO of Fox International Channels and National Geographic Channels Worldwide for 10 years. Haslingden, who will remain based in Sydney, has become a significant shareholder and member of Blue Ant Media’s board of directors and will be a key member of the team devising the ongoing international growth strategy.
Effective September 1, Blue Ant Media will appoint Ward Platt, current RACAT consultant, to a newly created role of CEO, Kids and Global Networks. Platt’s previous leadership roles include COO positions at National Geographic Partners and Fox International Channels and CEO of National Geographic Channels International from 2013-2015.
Platt will be responsible for crafting Blue Ant Media’s global linear and streaming video channels strategy outside of Canada and New Zealand. Operating from Los Angeles, Platt will join Blue Ant Media’s executive management team and will report to Raja Khanna, CEO, Television and Digital, Blue Ant Media.
“Blue Ant Media is an ambitious company, well positioned to significantly grow its content production, distribution and channel businesses internationally, notably in Asia Pacific which is why this acquisition is so important for our business,” said Michael MacMillan, Co-founder and CEO, Blue Ant Media.
“I’ve known RACAT’s CEO, David Haslingden, for many years and he is a seasoned media executive with an impressive history in the industry spanning more than two decades. His expertise will be invaluable as we continue our worldwide expansion.”