German animation group TV-Loonland has bought the television production and distribution assets of Sony Wonder - a division of Sony Music Entertainment specialising in children's and family programming - and its subsidiary Sunbow Entertainment for $20.5m.
Sony Wonder handles a catalogue of 1,200 half-hour episodes. The division started out as a home video label specialising in the children's, family and special interest genres, then moved on to produce its own original programming in 1995. In order to develop its television activities, Sony Wonder acquired powerful US animation production and distribution specialist Sunbow Entertainment in 1998.
Munich-based TV-Loonland - founded in 1989 by CEO Peter Voelkle - is fast expanding its international presence, its licensing and merchandising activities as well as its internet-related operations. The company recently acquired UK animation studio Telemagination as well as Germany's leading children's internet portal Harbour Family.
Earlier this year, TV-Loonland also signed a wide-ranging three-year agreement with Alliance Atlantis Communications which includes the acquisition of 550 half-hours of children's and family entertainment programming produced by the Canadian company, as well as the co-production of further programming.
The company, which has been listed on the Frankurt New Market since March 2000, has a market capitalisation of DM1.4bn.