David Haslingden, CEO of RACAT Group, the parent company of NHNZ, announced today that RACAT’s media holdings have been acquired by international media company Blue Ant Media. Included in the purchase are production houses NHNZ (formerly Natural History New Zealand), Beach House Pictures and Northern Pictures, in addition to international children’s nature broadcaster ZooMoo Networks, and Runaway Play, a mobile game developer and publisher
Blue Ant Media is a privately held, international content producer, distributor and channel operator. With production houses around the world, the company creates content for multiple genres including factual, factual entertainment, short-form digital series and kids programming. Distribution arm, Blue Ant International offers a catalogue of 2,300+ hours of content, including the largest 4K natural history offering on the market. Its international channel business offers a portfolio of media brands such as Smithsonian Channel Canada, BBC Earth (Canada), Love Nature (International) and HGTV (New Zealand).
NHNZ Managing Director Kyle Murdoch says the company is excited for its next chapter with Blue Ant Media.
“Blue Ant Media and NHNZ have some very obvious synergies. We’re thrilled to be a part of such an ambitious group. While it is business as usual for the time being, I’m looking forward to seizing new opportunities for NHNZ’s continued growth and evolution that will come with being part of Blue Ant.
“Under David’s ownership, NHNZ has been transformed in size, shape and form, so we want to thank him for backing NHNZ and we’re delighted he’s going to continue to be involved in our future as an Executive Director of our new parent company.”
This will be the third change of ownership in NHNZ’s 40 year history. Originally established as TVNZ’s Natural History Unit in 1977, NHNZ was sold to Fox Television Studios in 1997. David Haslingden, former President and COO of Fox Networks Group, purchased the company in 2012 and formed RACAT Group. Under the deal, Haslingden has become a significant shareholder and member of Blue Ant Media’s board of directors.
NHNZ already has a close working relationship with Blue Ant Media and over the last two years has been co-producing a series of New Zealand-based ultra-HD natural history specials called Wildest New Zealand, which will be delivered in July 2017.
Photo: Graham Warman