After some speculation last year, Swedish media group Bonnier today announced that it is selling subsidiary Toca Boca, a maker of mobile apps for kids, to Canadian children's toys and entertainment firm Spin Master.
The price was not disclosed, but it's important to note that Spin Master is not a minor player; it has close to 1,000 employees and its shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Earlier reports floated a purchase price of around $100 million.
Toca Boca started five years ago as a project out of Bonnier’s headquarters in Stockholm, with the idea of creating digital toys for 'the smartphone generation'.
Toca Boca has grown into a global brand for kids, getting more than 60% of its revenues from North America today. When I visited their offices two years ago, their apps had been downloaded 67 million times already, and they recently hit 140 million downloads to date.
Toca Boca says its ambition is to grow by broadening its brand in video and physical products, with help from Spin Master, which generated more than $1 billion in sales from toys and TV series licensing in 2015 alone.
The deal is expected to be completed at the beginning of May.