The Icelandic company Latibaer, world famous for its LazyTown children’s television series and merchandising, has been bought out by a company promising to make a new series and keep production in Iceland.
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) Europe, owns children’s television brands including Cartoon Network, Boomerang and the brand-new Cartoonito channel.
With the purchase of Latibaer, the company has increased its domination over the pre-school television market still further. The Latibaer announcement comes with an immediate commitment to produce a new series of the Icelandic kids TV series, which is known and aired in more than 100 countries and in more than a dozen languages.
Under the terms of the deal, LazyTown’s creator and star Magnus Scheving remains CEO of Latibaer and retains his management team, and the series production stays in Iceland. In other words, Sportacus, Sophie, Robbie Rotten and co. are not about to be turfed out of their homes.
Turner is hailing the acquisition as a sign of the company’s growing ambition and reach across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“The acquisition is immensely exciting both strategically and creatively,” said Jeff Kupsky, president TBS Europe. “With the great fit between our existing assets in the pre-school genre, and the retention of the unique talent that is Magnus Scheving, we’re ready to expand the LazyTown brand and will immediately be starting production on a new series. This will be supported by Turner’s successful 360 franchise management approach which will include consumer products and digital extensions.”
Magnus Scheving, CEO of Laetibar said “We’re delighted to have Turner on board and believe that the fit is an ideal one for us, Turner being one of the world’s leading broadcast companies. Their ethos of entertaining children in a fun and educational way is perfectly in keeping with the LazyTown brand. We look forward to a bringing the LazyTown message of helping motivate children to lead a healthy lifestyle to a whole new audience of Turner viewers.”
Turner also operates the TNT and CNN brands as part of a growing and diverse channel portfolio. The company currently broadcasts 25 channels in 22 languages across approximately 100 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).