9 Story Limited has reason to rejoice. ZM Capital and former DHX Media principal and Decode Entertainment co-founder, Neil Court, have made an equity investment in the company, with Court becoming its executive chairman. The investment is being made out of ZM Capital II, the latest private equity fund of ZelnickMedia, a New York based investment firm focused on the media and communications sectors. Terms of the transaction, which closed on 11 July, 2014, were not disclosed.
Vince Commisso continues as president and CEO, and will report to a newly formed board of directors. 9 Story’s existing management team will continue to lead the company, while Court will carry out his executive chairman duties from his base in UK.
“9 Story has enjoyed fantastic organic growth over the last decade,” said 9 Story Limited president & CEO Vince Commisso. “The CCI acquisition really opened our eyes to the potential impact that larger, acquisition-based transactions could have on our business. With this new investment, we have the opportunity to become the largest pure play kids’ content studio in the world. We are excited to welcome Neil and the partners at ZM Capital, people who share our vision, support our growth strategy, and who will serve as a tremendous resource for existing management.”
Founded in 2002, 9 Story Limited is one of the industry’s leading creators, producers and distributors of award-winning animated and live-action content for young audiences around the world. The company has over 220 creative and production staff in its Toronto-based studio, and has produced over 900 half hours of quality children’s and family programming. 9 Story distributes over 1600 half hours of content internationally, with popular programs like Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, Almost Naked Animals and Camp Lakebottom.
“I’ve been looking for new opportunities in children’s media and 9 Story is the perfect fit,” said Neil Court. “9 Story has strong leadership, great creative talent, a disciplined approach to production and a top-notch client base. Vince and I share a vision of what we are looking to accomplish and we are excited about the incredible growth opportunities ahead.”
“9 Story has an exceptional management team, an outstanding performance record in both production and distribution, and an impeccable reputation among its clients and partners,” said Strauss Zelnick. “We have followed the company’s impressive growth record over the years and are committed to supporting its future plans.”