Crescent Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Crescent Group of companies in the UAE, announced the acquisition of an equity stake in the Teshkeel Media Group (TMG), a Kuwait-based media and entertainment company that develops and delivers content for children and young adults. The acquisition is as part of a consortium of investors that includes Abraaj Capital’s small and mid-cap investment platform, which invested in TMG in 2011.
The co-investment from Crescent Enterprises enables TMG to continue with its planned production for Season 2 of the animated TV series (a critical milestone which enhances THE 99’s attractiveness to major broadcasters and product licensing companies), to expand its animation and licensing footprint into new geographies and to execute a value-creation strategy within the business. All of these initiatives will contribute to TMG’s tremendous growth potential in the Middle East and beyond.
TMG is a leading Middle East-based developer of children’s entertainment products for a worldwide market. Its acclaimed comic superhero series, THE 99, is based on Middle Eastern culture and history and uses a dynamic and exciting medium to promote ethical and cultural values around the world.
In 2010, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, praised the series as “one of the most innovative ways” to spread the lessons of peace and tolerance to the children of the world. THE 99 phenomenon has featured heavily in international media, including recognition by Forbes Magazine, one of the world’s most influential publications.
Commenting on the transaction, Badr Jafar, Managing Director of the Crescent Group and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, said: “We see Teshkeel as being one of the leading companies in the sphere of social development throughout the region and beyond. The confluence of a profound social message with a series of dynamic, animated characters makes this an ideal investment for Crescent Enterprises and what we stand for. We are pleased to back the wonderful story that Teshkeel has created and look forward to sharing in the continued success of the company.”
Naif Al-Mutawa, CEO of Teshkeel Media Group, has led the company through a path of sustained organic growth since 2004. Discussing the investment, Dr. Al-Mutawa said: “The investment from Crescent Enterprises comes on the heels of our successful launch on MBC and Yahoo! Maktoob throughout the Middle East. Not long ago, MBC and Yahoo! Maktoob were start-ups in a vast ocean of opportunity and danger. Today, MBC is the largest broadcaster in the Arab world and Yahoo! Maktoob is the largest Arab online portal. Each is a great success story of Middle East media. The fact that MBC and Yahoo! Maktoob have chosen to work together to raise THE 99 to their own lofty heights speaks volumes, as does our gratitude for their confidence and that of our new investors, Crescent Enterprises.”
After several years of developing original content for THE 99 brand, TMG is now positioned to achieve transformational growth through the launch of its animated television series in 2012. The series is expected to be aired initially across the Middle East (including Turkey) and Asia. TMG will capitalize on strategic relationships with its UK-based production partner, Endemol, and leading broadcasters in the United States and throughout the world for a successful launch of THE 99.