Moonbug Sold to Blackstone-Backed Firm


Moonbug Entertainment is being acquired by the recently formed media company run by Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs and backed by investment capital from Blackstone.

Moonbug has a library of more than 550 hours of content, which appears on more than 100 platforms around the world such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon and Sky. Among them, CoComelon is currently the second-most subscribed YouTube channel, with approximately 120 million subs globally, and the most-watched kids’ show on Netflix.

Moonbug’s founders, CEO René Rechtman and COO John Robson, and existing management team and shareholders, will retain equity stakes in the Mayer-Staggs-Blackstone-backed media company.

This marks the second acquisition for Mayer and Staggs’ new media company backed by Blackstone, following the acquisition of Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine.

Rechtman said: “John and I have built a category-leading, digital-first kids’ entertainment business based on strong values and content that is focused on digital platforms. Our vision is to build global family franchises, which is wholly aligned with Kevin and Tom’s vision and experience. I have had the pleasure of working with them both earlier in my career and am thrilled to be reunited to build the next global powerhouse of entertainment. You could not find stronger partners in our industry.”

Mayer and Staggs said: “We have known René and his innovative team for years, including during our time together at Disney, and they have built a perfect example of the type of category-defining business we are looking to bring into our company. They know how to identify and support brands that are beloved by millions of families across the globe. We and our partners at Blackstone look forward to helping expand Moonbug’s portfolio of titles and further extend its franchises across digital platforms and key licensing and merchandising channels.”

Joe Baratta, global head of private equity at Blackstone, and David Kestnbaum, a senior managing director at Blackstone, said: “We are thrilled to partner with René, John and the impressive Moonbug team. They deeply understand the fast-changing digital media environment and have rapidly established Moonbug as a digital-native powerhouse in children’s entertainment. We are excited to help fuel their continued expansion in the years ahead.”