Following the move, Genius Brands is required to submit a mandatory offer to acquire all registered shares in YFE. The management and supervisory board of YFE welcome Genius Brands’ entry as a new strategic shareholder in the company.
YFE, subject to YFE shareholder approval, will be renamed Genius Family Entertainment and will operate its children’s networks under the brand Kartoon Channel! Worldwide.
In addition, Genius Brands announced that it will invest €4-7 million to capitalize the company and invest in growing brands, as well as the global digital and linear channel footprint, beginning with Kartoon Channel! Europe.
YFE will maintain its independent listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and will be run by the current Management Board of Dr Stefan Piëch and Bernd Wendeln. Piëch, who also sits on the supervisory boards of Porsche and Siemens Austria, will further join Genius Brands’ Board of Directors in the US.
Concurrently, it was also announced that Paul Robinson, former Managing Director of Disney Television International and Senior Vice President Disney Channel Worldwide, will become Managing Director of Kartoon Channel! Worldwide and oversee the international buildout and growth of Kartoon Channel!
While at Disney Channel, Robinson was responsible for global programming and production strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide and founder of Toon Disney and Playhouse Disney Channels internationally. He was also Managing Director of Disney Television UK, including four television channels. Robinson and his team will be based in London.
Genius Brands designs, manufactures, markets and licenses children’s entertainment and consumer products for media and retail distribution. YFE operates children’s channels Fix&Foxi TV and RiC TV and holds a large rights stock in family entertainment programmes.