9 Story buys Asian animation studio BASE

The deal marks 9 Story's first acquisition in Asia and takes its total employee count to more than 1,000 internationally.

Vince Commisso picToronto-based 9 Story Media Group has expanded into Asia for first time with the acquisition of Indonesian animation studio BASE.

The Bali-based company, founded in 2015 by Lily Wang and Daniel Harjanto Setyawan, is comprised of two entities  PT Bali Animation Studio and PT Bali Animasi Solusi Ekakarsa. Wang and Setyawan will continue to lead the 270-person animation operation and will report to 9 Story COO Cathal Gaffney. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition marks 9 Story’s first acquisition in Asia and takes the producer-distributor’s total employee count to more than 1,000 internationally.

The deal comes after 9 Story’s Dublin-based subsidiary Brown Bag Films collaborated with BASE on the Disney series Vampirina.

Company president and CEO Vince Commisso (pictured) told Playback Daily that the objective in buying BASE was not to produce more animated content. Rather, he said, the acquisition is meant to bolster 9 Story’s ability to recruit feedback, ideas and talent from international markets to feed the global content beast. “To produce the quality of content that we are aiming for, and, quite frankly, that the market is going to demand in the future, we need to be able to draw on talent and inputs from various territories around the world,” he said.

BASE will continue to produce content for its existing clients, with 9 Story adding its own IP to the BASE pipeline at the “earliest appropriate time,” added Commisso.

9 Story has expanded globally in recent years with high-profile acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe. In fall 2015 it acquired Irish animation studio Brown Bag Films (which also has operations in Manchester, England and an L.A. office) and later, in January 2018, acquired New York-based Out of the Blue Enterprises.

Last week the company revealed it was launching a live-action division. Based in New York, the division is led by 9 Story chief creative officer Angela Santomero and VP of live-action development and production Jeremy Slutskin.