Rovio Sells Off TV Animation Studio to Ex-CEO


LOS ANGELES: Mikael Hed, a former CEO of Rovio Entertainment, has formed a new start-up, Kaiken Entertainment, which purchased Rovio’s TV animation studio in Vancouver.

Kaiken has also taken over Rovio’s book publishing business as well as certain non-Angry Birds properties. The transaction is part of the ongoing reorganization of Rovio’s animation division. Kaiken will continue to partner with Rovio on certain projects, including producing Angry Birds content and serving as the master licensee of the Angry Birds brand in book publishing.

Hed will serve as executive chairman of Kaiken Entertainment. Kaiken Publishing CEO Laura Nevanlinna will be head of franchise and portfolio development. Veteran Rovio producer Ulla Junell has been appointed head of animation and president of Kaiken Canada. Fellow Rovio veteran Joonas Rissanen will serve as Kaiken’s creative director.

Former Rovio, Aardman and DreamWorks senior executive Steve Pegram and Rovio’s president of animation, Tommy Korpinen, have both joined Kaiken Entertainment’s advisory board.

“This team has been integral in building the hugely successful franchise around Angry Birds,” said Hed. “With this amazing team of experts and storytellers, we are thrilled to be pursuing the next big hit.”

“We are happy to announce this transaction and look forward to a continued partnership with Kaiken in animation series productions and book publishing,” commented Kati Levoranta, the CEO of Rovio Entertainment.