Foot Anstey advises international children’s media business on $195M acquisition by Sony

Top 100 law firm Foot Anstey has advised long-standing client, independent children's media company Silvergate Media on its buyout by Sony Pictures Television (SPT). Silvergate's assets include 2019 BAFTA-winning 'Hilda' and the 49% interest in a joint venture with Beijing-based Wanda which holds the rights to Octonauts.

Sony have also taken a minority stake in the Silvergate BP Bidco Group, which holds certain Beatrix Potter rights, of which the majority shareholder remains Lord Waheed Alli.

Lord Alli will also remain as the CEO of the Silvergate group, which he co-founded in 2011 with Viscount William Astor, who likewise stays on as Chairman.

Los Angeles based Shamrock Capital will exit the business under the deal, worth a total of $195 million, following their investment into the Silvergate Group in 2016.

Sony is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing, distributing and carrying programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, Sony is home to a thriving global content business, operating 24 wholly-owned or joint-venture production companies in 12 countries, as well as linear and digital channels around the world.

Lord Alli said: "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."

Foot Anstey have advised the Silvergate Group since its inception in 2011 when it acquired the rights to Beatrix Potter and Octonauts from Chorion, including Shamrock's investment in 2016, and the joint venture with Wanda in relation to the Octonauts in 2017. Since 2011, the Group has established its creative studio in New York which has built Octonauts into a global success, produced and delivered Sunny Day for Nickelodeon and the 2019 BAFTA award winning Hilda for Netflix.

Corporate partner Matt Stoate led the Foot Anstey team advising on the deal. Matt adds: "It has been a real privilege to be able to work with such ambitious and entrepreneurial business leaders as Waheed, William and the rest of the Silvergate team for the past 8 years. We look forward to continuing to support them power the Group on to further success."