Coolabi secures £11m to fund acquisition spree

The international media group and rights owner will use the funding to grow its portfolio and make a series of strategic acquisitions.

London-based Coolabi Group Ltd is to grow its portfolio and make strategic acquisitions after securing £11m from Santander Corporate & Commercial.

Coolabi specialises in the creation, development and brand management of children’s and family entertainment intellectual property rights.

The firm owns the rights to over 20 TV series and its shows have aired in more than 140 territories on channels including ABC, The Cartoon Network, CBBC, CBeebies, Disney, Netflix and Nickelodeon.

Brands owned and / or represented by the firm include the multi award-winning remake of Clangers, and Scream Street, shown on CBBC.

Other properties include Beast Quest, Poppy Cat, Purple Ronnie, Smallfilms’ Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine.

The group also creates original series fiction for publishers and has created around 100 published series, consisting of around 1,500 books, sold in more than 40 languages.

Four of these series – Warriors, Beast Quest, Animal Ark and Rainbow Magic – have sold over 10 million copies each.

The funding package has helped Coolabi refinance existing debt and will support the long-term growth strategy, which includes investment in digital apps as well as new titles and the production of original content.

In addition, the firm is targeting further acquisitions. Recent brand extensions for the group include the Beast Quest gaming app, which has achieved over 10 million downloads.

Tim Ricketts, chief financial and operating officer at Coolabi Group, said: “The support from Santander Corporate & Commercial will enable Coolabi to continue building and investing in high-quality TV productions, books and digital content for family entertainment and help us catalyse our growth strategy. 

“The Santander team really understood both our business & strategy whilst delivering in an efficient manner. We look forward to building upon our partnership.”

Paul Baker, relationship director at Santander Corporate & Commercial, added: “Coolabi has grown into an influential player in the UK and global children’s entertainment sector due to a commitment to strong, high-quality content and a focus on multi-media engagement.

“Its success is testament to its highly regarded management team, and Santander is delighted to be able to support their long-term expansion plans.”