Singapore's August Media acquires UK Kids' content producer Red Kite Animation

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 24 September, 2010 - 15:03

In a major move, Singapore based August Media Holdings announced today that it has acquired Scottish children’s content producer Red Kite Animation.

Founded by industry veteran Jyotirmoy Saha (Moy), August Media was formed as an integrated media company to produce, finance and distribute live action, animation and online content. The acquisition of Red Kite Animation is the first major step for August Media in its plans to create an operation with multiple business units that will produce, own and exploit programming for both traditional and new media platforms. As part of its business strategy August Media has been actively seeking inorganic growth opportunities through acquisition of existing successful businesses that give it access to different markets and territories. The acquisition of Red Kite Animation is the first major step towards this for August Media.

The global animation services market is highly competitive. Within Singapore’s neighborhood China and India sport a much older animation industry and enjoy far lower operating costs. This yields strong competition against animation service companies not only in Singapore but also around the world. Many western countries also have strong barriers against entry to their media markets which makes it difficult for small companies from Asia to compete in their animation business space. In the midst of this August Media is positioning itself to be the bridge that engages local Singaporean animation companies in services and co- productions for premium kids’ content commissioned by Red Kite’s existing clientele of broadcasters and distributors in the West.

Commenting on the acquisition Jyotirmoy Saha, CEO of August Media said, “I had been searching for this form of a bridge for a very long time. Red Kite was the perfect candidate not only for its development slate but also for the value it brings in its fabulous creative, business development and production teams. The existing team at Red Kite is already known and respected by local companies and it’s great to now welcome Red Kite into the Singaporean content production family.”

Red Kite was founded over a decade ago by the highly experienced children’s producer Ken Anderson. Red Kite’s rich production portfolio features many animated short films and children’s television series’ including Playhouse Disney Channel’s The Secret World of Benjamin Bear and the more recent BBC and Channel 9 (Australia) hit Dennis and Gnasher. Red Kite also has a history of producing award winning shows including a BAFTA nomination and British Animation Award for 64 Zoo Lane, winner of Best Mobile Short, Super Shorts 2006 and MIPCOM Junior 2006 Licensing Challenge for The Imp and best TV series nomination at Annecy and Best TV Short at Cartoon's on the Bay for Marvo the Wonder Chicken.

Dr Christopher Chia, Chief Executive Officer, Media Development Authority added, "We are delighted to see August Media make great progress in such a short span of time. August Media’s acquisition of Red Kite one of the United Kingdom’s top production houses, testifies to the coming-of-age of our local animation industry. In moving up the value chain August Media is positioned as a multi platform demand aggregator that helps to bring projects into the region. MDA welcomes this development since it will mean more opportunities for Singapore companies looking to break into international territories with August Media as the bridge. We look forward to more such developments from Singapore’s media businesses.”

Under the terms of the deal Red Kite Animation will operate as a subsidiary of August Media with Ken Anderson remaining as Creative Director. In addition he will also take a seat on August Media’s board of directors and serve as Executive Director for August Media’s other business interests.

The company also added that it is already in discussion with various Singaporean companies for the past few months and expects to announce a whole host of high value deals during the upcoming MIPCOM TV market in Cannes. August Media will be attending MIPCOM as part of MDA’s Singapore Pavilion.

Founded in 1997, Red Kite is now a part of the Singapore based August Media Holdings group. Over the years the company has grown and developed to become an established international producer of children's content. Collective credits include 64 Zoo Lane (BAFTA nominee), Pablo the Little Red Fox (BAFTA winner 2000) and the Wark Clements co-production, Abercromby. The company, its founders and partners have been honoured with many awards including BAFTAs, Emmys, CableAces, Pulcinellas, Grammys and also an Academy Award. Disney XD, Teletoon, Cartoon Network, the Hub, Channel 9 (Australia), Australian Broadcast Corporation are just some of the broadcasters that have played Red Kite’s programmes to top ratings. Red Kite also enjoys a development portfolio that targets children of all age groups and a wide variety of animated programming genres.

Jyotirmoy Saha (Moy) is the founder and CEO of August Media Holdings – a Singapore based media company. August Media’s mandate is to create an integrated media company producing, financing and distributing live action, animated and online content. Moy comes with a 16 year background in production of all forms of traditional and digital media and has a wealth of experience in setting up, developing and leading high growth in multiple media businesses. Along the way his name has been credited in more than 40 media titles.