Tata, the Indian business giant that last year set up a joint venture with Andy Heyward’s US animation studio A Squared Entertainment, has pulled out of the operation.
In January 2011, Tata Elxsi, the visual effects and production wing of the multibillion-dollar Tata Group, partnered with Beverley Hills-based A2, intending to coproduce and distribute children’s series for television, the web and mobile devices, and video games.
The pair set up A Squared Elxsi Entertainment and hired former KidsCo chief Paul Robinson as president of a new global arm called A Squared Elxsi International earlier this year.
However, on Tuesday this week, Tata issued a statement to the Bombay stock exchange saying it had terminated the agreement because it “has not progressed as per the company’s business expectations.”
“Also it was believed that continuing the partnership would involve further investments, which may be unviable in the long run,” the statement added.
A2 representatives were unavailable to comment at press time.
Former DIC Entertainment chief Heyward has a number of projects in development with A2, which he launched with his wife and co-president Amy Moynihan in 2009. These include a science-themed children’s series centring on light bulb inventor Thomas Edison.
It was also set to coproduce Arnold Schwarzenegger cartoon The Governator, which had to be shelved last year as a result of revelations about Schwarzenegger’s personal life.