Endemol Shine UK has acquired a controlling share in animation company Simon’s Cat, founded in 2008 by illustrator, animator and director Simon Tofield (pictured). The London-based company is behind the digital comedy series Simon’s Cat, which has had over 650 million views and 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
The deal sees the digital video series become fully integrated into the Endemol Beyond premium channel and distribution network. In addition the two companies will look at further expansion for the property in areas including television, publishing, licensing and merchandising whilst exploring new platforms.
“Simon Tofield is a creative entrepreneur and has built his business into an international online success. Simon’s Cat is a brilliant example of how an original brand created on YouTube can reach and delight huge audiences,” said Laurence Jones, commercial director at Endemol Shine UK. “Millions of fans around the world love the mischievous and funny Simon’s Cat and there is enormous potential for growth, whilst staying true to the brand.”
“Endemol Shine Group has a fantastic reputation and a world-class premium channel network in Endemol Beyond,” said Tofield. “We’re looking forward to the next step of our relationship with the company and collaborating with the creative and commercial teams.”
Endemol Beyond UK’s slate of original digital programming includes ICON the lifestyle network which launched simultaneously in the UK and US; sports channels Rule’M Sports and Legends of Gaming which was created in the UK and sold to the US and Germany with further deals in the pipeline.
Simon’s Cat recently garnered support through crowd-funding to create the first ever Simon’s Cat colour film, a 13-minute animation Off to the Vet.