Coming-of-age tale “Spud” has been acquired by multiple companies for multiple territories, including Universal UK for UK theatrical, home entertainment and TV rights.

Deal was announced Saturday at the Toronto Film Festival by The Little Film Company.

The film is based on the best-selling South Africanovel, in which a nerd and outsider wins a scholarship to an elite private school and has his hands full outwitting the older boys who are trying to get him expelled.

“Spud” will be released in the first quarter of 2012.

Additional markets that have acquired the film include: Front Row for the Middle East, Pinnacle for Australia and Another World for Scandinavia.

Terry Steiner has also acquired for airline rights.

The film has been a strong performer at the South African box office.

Producer Ross Garland said, “It’s rare for a major international player to pick up a South African film for commercial distribution, so we are excited to be partnering with Universal UK, who shares our passion for the film. 2012 is shaping up to be a big SPUD year, in addition to our first foray of the franchise in the international market, a fourth book in the series is being published, as well as plans to shoot the sequel film.”