Leading German TV group Leonine is launching an animation division with Toon2Tango founders Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris.

The three partners will each contribute their shares in Toon2Tango to create Leonine Animation Studios, with effect from 1 January.

5. Leonine - Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell, Jo Daris

Leonine - Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell, Jo Daris

Leonine has held a 25.1 percent stake in Toon2Tango, whose credits include Mia And Me, since October 2022.

Leonine holds a stake of 50 percent in Leonine Animation Studios, with Stoef and Daris also jointly holding 50 percent. Leonine also has the option to acquire a controlling majority in Leonine Animation Studios from 2025.

Bernhard zu Castell, Chief Distribution Officer of Leonine, will serve as managing director alongside Stoef and Daris.

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Leonine Animation Studios will operate as a growth and investment platform for the development, production and acquisition of new IPs with international scope as well as other selective M&A activities in the animation sector.

Initial projects include the production of the animated feature film Santa.Com, which will be released in German cinemas in 2025, and the TV series spin-off of cinema franchise Niko as well as the development of the series Littlest Robot, which was presented at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse in September 2023, and the preschool series Hey Fuzzy Yellow, which is currently in production.

Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine Studios, said: “We want to consistently expand our successful children’s and family entertainment segment and this step will create the conditions for further growth in this exciting market. We are delighted that we can now deepen our partnership with Toon2Tango, Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris after our first year of successful collaboration.”

Leonine Studios’ production companies include gebrueder beetz Filmproduktion, hyperbole. i&u TV, Madame Zheng Production, Odeon Fiction, SEO Entertainment, W&B Television and Wiedemann & Berg Film.

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