By Allison Watkinson
The global entertainment company WildBrain has closed its acquisition of the pre-production animation studio, House of Cool.
The acquisition is intended to expand and improve Wildbrain’s pre-production capabilities for current and future animated series, specials and features.
The co-founders of House of Cool, Wes Lui and Ricardo Curtis, have joined the senior management team at WildBrain Studios as part of the completed acquisition.
Lui and Curtis have been appointed to the newly created roles of co-general managers of Wildbrain’s House of Cool subsidiary.
“We’re delighted to close our acquisition of House of Cool and to officially welcome Wes, Ricardo and their talented team to WildBrain,” said Wildbrain CEO, Josh Scherba. “House of Cool is recognized as one of the very best pre-production houses in the global animation industry, and this highly complementary acquisition meaningfully broadens and deepens WildBrain’s capabilities for both our own and partner productions.”
Since its initial founding in 2004, House of Cool has worked with studios, platforms and IP owners across the entertainment industry to develop over twenty animated feature films and multiple animated TV series.
The company specializes in a variety of pre-production services. These services include storyboarding, conceptual development, character design, visual development, environment and prop design, and animatic test video creation.
For the acquisition agreement, WildBrain has secured full ownership of House of Cool for a total price of $15.5 million, with $10.25 million of the price provided through the issuance of WildBrain company shares and the remainder in cash.
In addition, there is a potential earn-out of up to $6 million based on collection of certain tax credits earned by House of Cool up to closing.
“We’re incredibly excited to conclude the acquisition process and to have officially joined forces with the brilliant team at WildBrain,” said House of Cool co-founders, Wes Lui and Ricardo Curtis. “There are great opportunities ahead, as we continue to offer our clients world-class pre-production services, while also collaborating with WildBrain on their extensive catalogue of content and the creation of exciting new IP. Our combined strengths make us a potent creative force in the animation industry.”
Due to the company’s established reputation in the industry, the House of Cool brand will be maintained as a distinct identity under the WildBrain banner.
WildBrain Ltd. is a global entertainment company with in-house capabilities that span production, distribution and licensing services.The company’s portfolio of content is available in more than a hundred and fifty countries worldwide through over five hundred streaming platforms and telecasters.
Wildbrain’s wholly-owned and partner properties are represented for licensing by its consumer products and location-based entertainment division, WildBrain CPLG.