STUDIOCANAL Acquires Paddington Bear Rights


PARIS: STUDIOCANAL has acquired Paddington and Company, which owns all intellectual property rights, excluding publishing, to the classic character created by Michael Bond.

The French studio has also bought The Copyrights Group Limited, which serves as the licensing agent to Paddington Bear, among other properties. Bond’s much-loved books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide and more than 25 million people have bought a Paddington soft toy. The studio’s Paddington movie in 2014 generated almost $300 million at the global box office, with STUDIOCANAL slating the follow-up for 2017.

“Paddington has been a very important part of my life since the publication of my father’s first book, A Bear Called Paddington, exactly two months after I was born,” said Karen Jankel, owner and managing director of Paddington and Company. “I joined Paddington and Company 35 years ago and took on the role of managing director a short while later. When Paddington made his big screen debut at the end of 2014, his popularity grew to a whole new level and it was at that point that I realized the time had come to think about the future of the business. For our family this is about so much more than selling a company but, as STUDIOCANAL have already proved with the wonderful first film, they are more than capable of looking after Paddington. So we couldn’t be more delighted that it is they who will be taking on the mantle of his guardianship and I feel confident that he will be in a very safe pair of paws.”

Didier Lupfer, CEO of STUDIOCANAL, noted, “We are particularly proud and happy that Michael Bond, Karen Jankel and their family have chosen to trust us with Paddington Bear, who will be welcomed at STUDIOCANAL as one of our family. We have maintained a very close relationship with them since the release of the first film, which was one of the highlights of STUDIOCANAL’s recent development. Following this success, we shall continue to develop Paddington, who is already a familiar feature in millions of homes worldwide. This will start with a second chapter of Paddington’s movie adventures, the shooting of which is to start this autumn. Beyond cinema, Paddington will benefit from the full strength of a media and entertainment group of Vivendi’s size, with a presence in television, music, live entertainment, video games and the digital world. Paddington is a 58-year-old classic brand, and we shall continue to make it grow still further.”

Nicholas Durbridge, Chairman of The Copyrights Group Limited, added, “I am delighted that Copyrights has become part of the STUDIOCANAL group of companies. Their international network will benefit not only the licensing of Paddington Bear but also the other classic brands that Copyrights represents, including Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, Father Christmas and Fungus the Bogeyman characters and The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.”

Jankel will retain a consultancy role on the future creative development of the brand and Michael Bond will work closely with the studio. Harvey Unna and Stephen Durbridge Limited, which has represented all of the media rights for Paddington for the last 40 years, is also part of the acquisition.