German animation production-distribution entity Ravensburger Film & TV (RTV) has purchased a 69% stake in one of Australia's most significant animation companies, Energee Entertainment, in a move that will spur production activity at the company's new studios opened late last year in Sydney.
RTV paid $24.6m (DM48m) in shares and cash for the stake. Energee is currently in production on animated feature The Magic Pudding which Icon Entertainment International is selling overseas.
Energee and RTV have had a close relationship for some time and are currently co-producing two 26x30mins television series, Wicked! and Gloria's House, which are both due for delivery in October. Sales rights are split between Energee and RTV.
Energee will not change its existing management structure which includes London-based John Travers heading international distribution and Gerry Travers as Sydney-based general manager and head of production.
Meanwhile RTV's shares soared over 13% yesterday (Feb 23) after the company announced the deal along with the $64m (DM125m) acquisition of 565 hours of programming from CLT-Ufa and a five-year co-production agreement with German broadcaster Super RTL.