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Oh help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!


A unique opportunity for CIC members to purchase secondary shares in the multi-award winning, and Oscar nominated production company behind children’s TV classics such as, The Gruffalo, Stick Man and Highway Rat.

Orange Eyes is a well-established, profitable company, which owns the global merchandising and TV production rights to the highly successful children’s books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Orange Eyes Ltd is a renowned Television and Film company, founded by award-winning producers Martin Pope and Michael Rose. Their productions have been nominated for four Oscars, won two BAFTAs (with seven further nominations), two International Kids Emmy awards and a Royal Television Society award, as well as many other awards worldwide.

Orange Eyes owns the rights for TV and merchandising for a range of bestselling children’s brands such as: the Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, Zog and Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

The company has a track record of producing successful children’s animations (with millions tuning in for their productions each year), and a development slate to expand production both in the animation and live action space. Furthermore, they have a fruitful working relationship with one of the UK’s best-selling and most loved children’s author teams, Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler, as well as excellent relationships with other acclaimed writers and estates including the Roald Dahl Estate.

The company has ambitious plans for growth in the UK and internationally by expanding sales of its existing assets and producing new content in the future. The Gruffalo brand alone is a worldwide phenomenon, having sold over 17 million books translated into 75 different languages. Orange Eyes owns the exclusive merchandising rights to these assets and looks to exploit these rights to drive revenues from the IP. Gross retail sales from the Gruffalo merchandise has risen above £85m since launch, with over 45 licensees and over 350 products. The total global market for licensed merchandise is worth around £200bn and the team are keen to increase their market share as they broaden out their content and asset base.

A minority of existing shareholders are now looking to sell their shares through Oxford Capital. We are therefore able to offer 162,500 shares priced at £5.75 per share in a secondary share sale. A number of existing shareholders have also expressed interest in increasing their shareholdings and will be backing the round. Orange Eyes is an established business with stable recurring revenues, EBITDA positive and has previously paid a modest 10p per share dividend each year which is expected to continue. These shares can be SIPP’able (subject to your SIPP providers consent).


Key investment considerations:

One of the leading independent UK Children’s IP owners: Orange Eyes is a creator, owner and exploiter of children’s Intellectual Property (“IP”). It has a strong track record of creating high quality video content in partnership with well-established book IP, which it funds and produces itself, and thus retains much of the value of the IP in perpetuity. As a result, the company has also achieved ownership of other valuable IP exploitation rights, the most prominent of which is merchandising.

High quality reputation: The executive team are experienced and well respected in the industry. They have a reputation for very high quality production and sensitive handling of merchandising with a long-term vision. Their productions have been nominated for four Oscars, and have won two BAFTAs (with seven further nominations) as well as two Emmys and a Royal Television Society award as well as many other awards worldwide.

Unique relationship with Donaldson & Scheffler (“D&S”): The management team have an excellent working and highly valuable relationship with Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), which has allowed them to develop and own such valuable IP, and unparalleled access to future material, for which there is a steady pipeline. D&S are amongst the best-selling authors in the UK, with a multi-million strong following.

Stable and recurring revenues: Predictable revenues should be generated from the IP they already own, though highly concentrated on Gruffalo. Future revenues from a pipeline of D&S titles – the next two years of which are secured – and a low risk approach to film financing provides high visibility. The business is cash positive and has previously paid an annual dividend which they expect to continue. The market they are selling into is large and stable. The UK Drama titles that they are planning to make (2020-2022) are of lower probability in terms of revenues and value.

Protection for potential losses: The Gruffalo brand alone should provide a significant safety net to this investment. The brand is now an established modern classic, and has been boosted by OE’s films and merchandising (though under-developed).

Upside potential: Multiple sources of upside exist including: further D&S titles currently in development, international expansion of the core Gruffalo brand, more aggressive commercialisation of Gruffalo, and working with other IP owners (e.g. the recent Revolting Rhymes (Dahl Estate) film).

The Key Risks to an investment appear to be: 1. management reliance, 2. dependency on single brand (Gruffalo) 3. rate of future value creation.

You can read more about the company in the full investment deck which you can request by emailing [email protected].

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