Leonine Holding is also increasing its stake in Toon2Tango.

License Global

December 19, 2023

2 Min Read
(From L to R): Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell and Jo Daris.
(From L to R): Hans Ulrich Stoef, Bernhard zu Castell and Jo Daris.Leonine Studios

Leonine Holding, an independent media company in Germany, has announced it is founding Leonine Animation Studios together with Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris and that all parties will pool their animation activities in this division in the future. 

The three partners will each contribute their shares in Toon2Tango to Leonine Animation Studios effective Jan. 1. Leonine Holding has held a 25.1% stake in Toon2Tango since October 2022. 

Toon2Tango now becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Leonine Animation Studios. Leonine Holding holds a stake of 50% in Leonine Animation Studios, with Hans Stoef and Daris also jointly holding 50%. Leonine Holding also has the option to acquire a controlling majority in Leonine Animation Studios starting in 2025. 

The managing directors of Leonine Animation Studios are Bernhard zu Castell, chief distribution officer, who is responsible for the distribution and licensing division of Leonine Holding, and Hans Ulrich Stoef and Jo Daris, managing directors, Toon2Tango. 

Leonine Animation Studios is a growth and investment platform for developing, producing and acquiring new IPs with international scope as well as other selective M&A activities in the animation sector. Initial projects include the production of the animated feature film, “Santa.com,” which will be released in German cinemas in 2025 via Leonine Studios, and the TV series spin-off of the well-known cinema franchise, “Niko,” as well as the development of the series, “Littlest Robot,” which was presented at the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse in September, and the preschool series, “Hey Fuzzy Yellow,” which is currently in production.   

“We want to expand our successful children’s and family entertainment segment consistently, and this step will create the conditions for further growth in this exciting market,” says Fred Kogel, chief executive officer, Leonine Studios: “We are delighted that we can now deepen our partnership with Toon2Tango, Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris after our first year of successful collaboration.” 

“The expansion of our partnership with Ulli Stoef and Jo Daris is an important strategic step for our positioning in the animation sector,” says zu Castell. “Since our investment in Toon2Tango in October 2022, we have completed hit series such as “Agent 203” and “Monster Loving Maniacs,” among others, which have sold extremely well worldwide. The development, production and acquisition of major IPs is the perfect fit for our leading position in marketing and distribution, enabling us to create holistic brand worlds ranging from cinema and home entertainment to radio plays and podcasts.” 

“We are very pleased to take the next step in the rapid development of Toon2Tango with our dream partner, Leonine Studios, and to now become part of the Leonine group,” says Stoef. “We have found the perfect match which offers us both the creative freedom and the necessary economic support to consistently expand in the areas of production, distribution and IP and brings us closer to our goal of becoming one of the leading European animation companies.” 

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