3d investors supports growth of Studio 100

10 february 2020
3d investors supports growth of Studio 100

The shareholders of Studio 100 - Hans Bourlon, Gert Verhulst and BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity - were looking for a fourth shareholder to support the company's long-term growth plan. With Vic Swerts and 3d investors, Studio 100 brings on board two well reputed Flemish long-term investors who strongly believe in the company's growth strategy and the entrepreneurship of the management team.

Based on their own experience in building international companies, both investors are delighted to be able to support the further growth of Studio 100. Like Soudal, Studio 100 has in the past already been awarded the "Enterprise of the Year" award.

“We are very impressed with the creativity, ambition and entrepreneurship with which Hans, Gert and their team have put Studio 100 on the map as the reference for family entertainment for the past 25 years. We look forward to supporting the strong management team at Studio 100 in developing new markets." said Vic Swerts, founder and chairman of Soudal, " With this investment, we once again demonstrate our confidence in ambitious Flemish entrepreneurship. Our know-how clearly has a lot of potential in European markets and far beyond. Moreover, there are more foreign markets than local markets!

Frank Donck, managing director at 3d investors, adds: “Studio 100 has grown into a unique company with a strong reputation by constantly reinventing itself and looking beyond the borders. Moreover, as long-term investors, we strongly believe in partnerships based on entrepreneurship and common sense. We are therefore very excited to be able to join the capital of Studio 100 together with the Swerts family. "

Hans Bourlon & Gert Verhulst: “We warmly welcome Vic Swerts and Frank Donck to Studio 100. Both are solid partners who resolutely opt for a long-term investment and strong partnership. Their vision of growth and innovation fits in perfectly with our future plans."

Vic Swerts (through his family holding company Jonelinvest) and 3d investors take an interest of 17% and 8% respectively. After the transaction, each of the three current shareholders will retain approximately 25%.

The selling shareholders of Studio 100 were assisted in this milestone transaction by BNP Paribas Fortis (M&A adviser) and Allen & Overy (legal adviser). The buying shareholders were supported by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and KBC Securities.

About Studio 100

Studio 100 was founded in 1996 by Gert Verhulst, Danny Verbiest and Hans Bourlon. The company has grown into a unique family entertainment company with a very strong reputation. Studio 100 guarantees a wide range of quality products in the field of family and children's entertainment. The Studio 100 characters are well known by the general public: Samson & Gert, Plop the Gnome, Maya the Bee, Vicky the Viking, Heidi, Pirate Pete, Bumba, Prinsessia, ROX, K3, Mega Mindy, Amika, Ghost Rockers, Night Watch and so many others have become true youth idols.

The development of multiple complementary activities around the different Studio 100 characters is one of the strengths of Studio 100. It is a company with a wide range of activities: television - theatre - film - musical - concerts - theme parks - audio - merchandising - licensing - publishing - drawing studio - website - ballet school - children's choir - etc.

At the end of 2006, BNP Paribas Fortis Private Equity took an interest in the capital of Studio 100 and implemented a capital increase. The subsequent acquisition of the German EM.Entertainment in 2008 was a major step towards the further internationalization of the company. Through this transaction, Studio 100 also became the owner of numerous well-known TV classics, such as Maya the Bee, Nils Holgersson, Heidi, Vicky the Viking, Pippi Longstocking and so many more evergreens.

In 2017, Studio 100 realized the acquisition of m4e, a German media company specialized in children's and family entertainment, and of Little Airplane Productions, an American animation studio that has already won 21 Emmy awards. These acquisitions make Studio 100 one of the largest European players in the children's and family entertainment market.

Plopsa, the theme park division within Studio 100, operates 7 theme parks that on average attract around 3 million visitors a year. In Belgium you will find Plopsaland De Panne, the water park Plopsaqua De Panne, the Plopsa Indoor Hasselt park and Plopsa Coo in the Belgian Ardennes. In 2010, the first Dutch indoor theme park, Plopsa Indoor Coevorden, was opened. That same year the existing German Holiday Park was taken over. On September 29, 2018, Plopsa opened its first amusement park in Poland: Majaland Kownaty. In 2020 the second Plopsa water park will open in Hannut: Plopsaqua Hannut-Landen. In addition to the parks, Plopsa also manages an external Plopsa Shop in Wijnegem Shopping Center and the Proximus Theater in De Panne. The opening of the first-ever Plopsa Hotel in De Panne is also planned for 2020.

The Studio 100 group employs 950 people (in full-time equivalents). Studio 100 has locations in Schelle, Breda, Munich, Paris, Sydney, New York and Los Angeles.