The deal, which marks a new step in the long-lasting relationship between both companies, is estimated at €300 million ($353 million), according to a source close to the pact. The amount of the stake acquired by the Spanish group was not disclosed, but the source said the pact gives Planeta Junior the possibility of increasing its stake progressively over the next four years for up to 49% of ZAG Entertainment.
The two companies will also be joining forces on the production of TV content and films, kicking off with a $70 million budget animated feature based on “Miraculous” which was previously set up at Skydance Media. A global hit franchise boasting one of the only major girls-skewing superhero figures, “Miraculous” just lured Disney Plus and Disney Channel, which have boarded two mini-movies based on the IP.
The animated pic will be co-produced by ZAG, ON kids & family and Planeta Jr. It will be released globally and is scheduled to premiere in fall 2021 or early 2022.
ZAG will also partner with Planeta Junior on licensing and merchandising, notably a toy line from Zag Lab (ZAG’s new toy division), as well as Playmates Toys. These will launch this fall in key territories around the world, followed by the U.S. in fall 2021.
Planeta Junior and ZAG started working together in 2016 on “Miraculous, The Adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir” in Europe. A year later, Planeta Junior and ZAG signed a coproduction agreement covering five new Zag series, including the animated/live-action hybrid series “Power Players,” about a boy who transforms into a living action figure and embarks on the biggest “small” adventures a kid could ever imagine alongside his favorite toys; and “Ghostforce” — currently in production for Disney Channel EMEA and Discovery Kids Latin America — about three junior high school students who form a secret team to defend their city from ghastly ghouls.
Most recently, Planeta Junior took “Miraculous” onto the stage with a live musical called “Miraculous: the Ladybug show” which bowed in Madrid last December, and will soon be playing in Paris, followed by key cities around the world in 2021.
“We are very proud to announce this agreement, which intensifies our business relationship and our longstanding friendship with ZAG. Planeta Junior shares ZAG’s enthusiasm for creating quality content that excites and entertains children, and is capable of becoming a very powerful brand,” said Ignacio Segura, the general manager of Planeta Junior and future Zag board member.
Jeremy Zag, the founder and CEO of ZAG said, “Planeta has always believed in Zag and has given (ZAG) the strength to push beyond our limits.”
Planeta Junior is a Grupo Planeta and De Agostini company, a European leader in creating and marketing entertainment content and brands for children and young adults. The company has a footprint in the major European markets including Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe.