Paris, June 20, 2016 -- STUDIOCANAL is pleased to announce the acquisition of Paddington and Company Limited which owns all the intellectual property rights apart from publishing rights in Michael Bond’s classic children’s character Paddington Bear.

By these acquisitions STUDIOCANAL takes full ownership of the PADDINGTON brand worldwide, including such activities as live entertainment, video games and theme parks.

In addition to STUDIOCANAL’s expertise in film and television production, PADDINGTON will benefit from the Group’s wide range of assets, especially in the live show and concerts business (via Universal Music Group and Vivendi Village) and video games (Gameloft).

Karen Jankel, owner and Managing Director of Paddington and Company Limited commented: "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. 

I joined Paddington and Company thirty-five 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 realised 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 Studio Canal 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, commented: "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."