Chris Albrecht has been unloading assets since he took over Starz as president and CEO last December. Following the July deal with Relativity for Overture, Starz has now found a buyer for its Film Roman, the animation studio behind The Simpsons. Starz has been focusing on its core TV network business, building the channels’ original slate. It continues to operate Anchor Bay Entertainment.
October 11, 2010 – Starz Media, LLC, has reached an agreement to sell its animation studio Film Roman to a group of investors lead by former Film Roman President Scott D. Greenberg. The deal was announced today by Starz, LLC, President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht, and Greenberg. The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
The transaction is contingent on certain closing conditions typical of this type of deal. The agreement will have the new owners acquire the ownership interest in Film Roman along with certain intellectual property and development rights. The parties expect to have the final closing conditions met in the fourth quarter.
Film Roman is the premier TV animation studio, producing animation for Fox Television/Gracie Films’ “The Simpsons,” Fox Television’s “King of the Hill,” Marvel Entertainment’s “Super Hero Squad,” “The Avengers” and “Ultimate Spider-Man” and MTV’s “Beavis and Butt-Head,” as well as proprietary projects such as the new “Dan Vs.” for The Hub, the original Dead Space animated features, based upon the Electronic Arts video games, and the hit pre-school series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!,” on Nick Jr.™ and Noggin. “We have the utmost respect for the people of Film Roman and the work they produce,” Albrecht said. “We wish Scott and his team nothing but success with this new venture.”
“Film Roman is unmatched in the quality and breadth of the traditional animation it creates, and with its recent successful move into CG animation, the studio is poised for even bigger growth,” Greenberg added. After leaving Film Roman in 2008, Greenberg and prominent animation producers Mark McJimsey and Joel Kuwahara co-founded the animation company Bento Box Entertainment. The new Film Roman investor group also intends to purchase Bento Box and combine the two production companies, under the management of Greenberg, McJimsey and Kuwahara.