German family entertainment rights trader Igel Media has opened a London-based international sales arm to be headed by current international sales chief Edward Galton.

The new division will be responsible for worldwide distribution of Igel product working closely with the company's Hamburg headquarters.

Earlier this year Igel and French production studio Xilam joined forces to acquire more than 200 animation episodes from the Gaumont Multimedia library (Screendaily, January 25). The deal, which includes internationally successful series such as Sky Dancers, Dragon Flyz and Space Goofs (aka Home To Rent), includes all rights globally and gives Igel exclusive world distribution rights to the package.

"Expanding our sales division is an important step as our roster of programming steadily grows," said Galton. "We have an increasing number of agreements with leading producers to represent properties worldwide, and London is a natural choice for the new distribution arm as no other city is home to such a high number of international TV companies."

Tanya Peck is joining the new office from Fox Kids Europe as marketing manager and Aurore Nguyen joins from Gaumont as technical sales manager.

Igel began trading on Hamburg's start-up market last July and has concentrated on the acquisition, co-financing, co-production and distribution of series in the kids and family entertainment genres as well as documentaries for the national and international TV markets.