Chicken Soup for the Soul to acquire Sonar Entertainment assets | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our privacy policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. [Close]
Positioning the company to launch additional networks and accelerate its international television production and distribution strategy, streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) network Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the film and TV assets of Sonar Entertainment.
SonarLogo 11April2021
A leading independent television studio headquartered in Los Angeles with operations in Toronto and London, Sonar has developed, produced, financed and distributed shows such as The Shannara Chronicles (MTV/Netflix), Taboo(BBC/FX), The Son (AMC), Mr. Mercedes (DirecTV), Das Boot (Sky Europe), Hunters (Amazon Prime), Alien Xmas (Netflix) and Mysterious Benedict Society (Disney+).
Sonar’s film and television library comprises over 1,000 titles, over 4,000 hours of programming, ranging from classic shorts of Little Rascals, Laurel & Hardy and Blondie (produced by Hal Roach Studios) to event mini-series such as Lonesome Dove and Dinotopia (produced by RHI, Robert Halmi International). Over $1 billion in the aggregate is estimated to have been invested in the library and television content development pipeline being acquired.

Sonar’s library titles have received 446 Emmy Award nominations, 105 Emmy Awards and 15 Golden Globe Awards. The library includes hundreds of movies that originally premiered on the Hallmark, Lifetime and Showtime networks. Sonar’s sales and distribution team have licensed the library content to more than 300 clients in over 125 territories worldwide in addition to the US and Canada. Screen Media will distribute Sonar’s film and television library after the closing.

Acquiring the Sonar assets will accelerate Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s strategyegy to build the leading independent AVOD streaming service in four key ways: Expanding its original television content development pipeline; improving margins by increasing its IP rights ownership; positioning the company to launch additional AVOD networks; and providing a faster path to growing its international television production and distribution activities. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment will also continue developing and producing the current and future content for all platforms across a broad spectrum in the US and globally.

“The Sonar Entertainment assets are a perfect fit with our objective of building the industry’s best AVOD offering,” said William J. Rouhana Jr, chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “This acquisition will not only have immense strategic value, positioning us to launch AVOD networks with a critical mass of proven content that fits our desired audiences, but will also give us ownership of several franchise television series and add proven television executive talent.”

The acquisition is subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions and is expected to close in 30 days. The asset purchase agreement is structured such that consideration paid is directly related to the success of the acquired assets.

An advance payment will be made to the seller at closing, to be recouped by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment upon the sale or licensing of certain television rights. The company has secured committed financing for the transaction.

In addition, the seller will receive 5% of the ownership of a new AVOD network that will be created in part with the Sonar library. In the first year after closing, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment expects to recognise over $15 million in revenue with contribution of approximately $10 million in EBITDA from the Sonar assets. The company anticipates significant expansion of revenue and EBITDA from Sonar’s television content development pipeline beginning in 2022.