Financial details of the purchase were not released, but a report from the Wall Street Journal puts the deal at under $50 million.
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Bento Box will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity and produce content for all platforms. The company currently has shows with outlets like Netflix, Adult Swim, and Nickelodeon along with several other projects in development across multiple platforms.
Bento Box’s kids and family investment, Sutikki, and its related assets, are not part of the acquisition. The company’s leadership team will remain in place, including co-founders Scott Greenberg (CEO) and Joel Kuwahara (President of Production), and senior executives Brett Coker (COO), Ben Jones (Creative Director), Craig Hartin (GM of Bento Box Atlanta), Janelle Momary (Supervising Producer) and Andi Raab (Supervising Producer).
“Ten years ago, we launched Bento Box to create a home for the best talent in the business. Today, we’re the world’s leading studio for primetime animation, and this acquisition will provide us with the unique opportunity to build, to grow and to better service our current partners,” said Greenberg and Kuwahara. “While we’ve always had a special relationship with Fox, we’re so excited to officially be part of the family. We’re looking forward to working closely with Charlie, Michael Thorn and their team to develop and produce amazing content together.”
In addition to “Bob’s Burgers,” Bento Box has two more animated comedies set to debut on Fox during the 2019-2020 season — “Duncanville” and “The Great North.” Fox is bringing back its “Animation Domination” block Sundays this fall with network cornerstones “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “Bob’s Burgers” along with new animated comedy “Bless the Harts.” “Duncanville” and “The Great North” will bow in the spring.
“You can’t walk around the Fox lot without noticing a decades-long passion for animation,” said Charlie Collier, CEO of Fox Entertainment. “It is in the Fox DNA and has served legions of fans, partners and investors. As we grow Fox for the next generation, it only makes sense we would expand our animation capabilities by bringing on board the best in the business: Bento Box. The Bento-Fox combination brings Fox front-door access to the next wave of the genre’s creative leaders, while still maintaining Bento Box’s focus on all that makes them a terrific partner for outside producers. We’re thrilled to work with Scott, Joel, Brett and their amazing team to take all they’ve so capably built to new heights.”
The move comes as Fox looks to remain competitive in the broadcast landscape after it was spunoff from 21st Century Fox when the latter company was acquired by Disney. Fox had previously announced a deal with Gail Berman and her new company SideCar, which will serve as an in-house content incubator both for the network and third-party platforms. Fox also brought its unscripted production in-house with the new unit Fox Alternative Entertainment, including Season 2 of “The Masked Singer.”