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Sony buys Gaspard & Lisa

Tokyo-based Sony Creative Products (SCP) has acquired the Gaspard & Lisa children’s brand, which broadcasts in more than 30 territories.

Gaspard & Lisa

Sony subsidiary SCP has paid UK firm Chorion an undisclosed amount for the master toy agent and TV series rights to the preschool brand, which comes from Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, and will oversee the property from now on.

Chorion subsidiary Silver Lining Production had managed Gaspard & Lisa since its international launch in 2005.

The sale leaves Chorion, which has been forced to sell off its properties over the past year after failing to meet bank debts, with only the Enid Blyton and Raymond Chandler literary estates and the Max & Ruby characters left on its books.

SCP acquired exclusive master license rights for Gaspard in 2008 and has been managing its product development since then. The company said it now planned to “grow and expand” the brand internationally as part of a global growth strategy.

There are also plans to develop the animated series that broadcasts on Disney Junior in a number of territories, including the US and UK, TF1 in France, Cartoon Network in Australia and Discovery Kids in Brazil, and the associated licensing and merchandise programmes in those countries.

The news comes after US-based home entertainment firm Acorn Media acquired Chorion’s 64% stake in the Agatha Christie estate and hired Chorion’s commercial director Hilary Strong to run new production wing, Acorn Productions.

Other Chorion properties have gone to the likes of Silvergate Media, former Chorion CEO and chairman Lord Waheed Alli’s new outfit (Octonauts, Beatrix Potter state); Sanrio Global (Mr Men); and Classic Media (Noddy, Olivia).

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