In a recent podcast on The Town, an M&A specialist revealed why Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Library in one of its biggest acquisitions to date.
Around three years ago, Netflix acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company; since then, we’ve seen a couple of projects released onto the service. The biggest was last September, with the release of Wes Anderson’s short collection beginning with The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Plenty more is on the way, too, with new TV and movie projects plus musical productions.
The next major project on the horizon is The Twits scheduled for release in 2025.
Why did Netflix acquire the company and its library of books? A recent podcast episode gives us more of an idea. The interview in question was with Raine Group partner and co-founder Joe Ravitch, who has worked on a myriad of deals across the entertainment sector.
Speaking about the current state of entertainment M&A, Ravitch spoke about Netflix’s appetite for acquisitions and what they look for:
“You know, it’s interesting when we’ve talked to some of the streamers, give you an example, we sold the Roald Dahl catalog, the library of hundreds of books to Netflix, right? The whole point of that was there was no employees.
There wasn’t a 10,000 person studio in Burban. It literally was pure IP that Netflix could absorb and then slice and dice and, you know, decided what to make with whom whenever they want.
So it had virtually no cost to it. And that’s why they were able to pay a spectacular multiple on the business.”
This plays into other acquisitions Netflix has made thus far, too. Millarworld was arguably their first major acquisition, picking up the entire comic collection from the Scottish comic book writer who is still on board assisting with upcoming Netflix productions and comic releases. Other smaller acquisitions include video game companies, animation studios, and VFX houses.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has always emphasized that they’re builders, not buyers, and given the way Ravitch lays out the Roald Dahl acquisition, this falls perfectly into that category. That likely rules out any big acquisition of a Hollywood studio like Paramount, which is currently up for sale by all accounts.
The full episode of The Town can be found embedded below via Spotify:
Are you glad Netflix picked up the Roald Dahl books? What other IP do you think Netflix should pick up going forward? Let us know in the comments.