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Sony Takes Stake in Genius Brands International

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has taken an equity stake of an undisclosed amount in Genius Brands International.

The investment was announced Wednesday along with an expansion of last year’s home entertainment distribution agreement to include the worldwide home entertainment marketing and distribution of Genius Brands’ Kid Genius and Baby Genius labels of all Genius Brands’ properties.

“The global distribution deal between Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Genius Brands provides a myriad of growth opportunities for both companies and coordinated global marketing for each of our brands as well as for our rapidly growing Kid Genius and Baby Genius channels” said Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO of Genius Brands. “We look forward to working with SPHE to source, develop and produce valuable commercial children’s ‘content with a purpose’ for global audiences.”

Genius Brands’ properties encompassed in the agreement include the music and fashion-driven brand for tween girls, SpacePOP, which debuted at retail in the fourth quarter; the new original Baby Genius series re-launched last year;  Warren Buffett’s “Secret Millionaire’s Club” animated series; and Stan Lee’s “Cosmic Crusaders.”

“Genius Brands offers an incredible value to the worldwide marketplace in providing content with a purpose to children and family audiences around the globe,” said Bill Stellman, exec VP and cief financial office. “We are pleased to bring our global capabilities to this expanded relationship with Genius,”

Variety first reported the multi-year distribution deal with Genius Brands International a year ago.

Heyward is responsible for over 5,000 episodes of children’s entertainment including “Inspector Gadget,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” “Real Ghostbusters,” “Captain Planet,” “Madeline,” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

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