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Aardman Animation - 75% of the ownership to employees
Aardman Animation - 75% of the ownership to employees
To the long list of things we love the Bristol based studios Aardman Animations (Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) adds a last news that many companies should follow: majority of ownership passes to employees.
The founders and owners of Peter Lord and David Sproxton have decided to give 75% of the ownership of the studios to their 140 employees. All this to guarantee the English animation studio its independence.

Lord and Sproxton will receive several million pounds as a result of the agreement but will continue to own a quarter of the main company (Aardman Holdings), which, according to The Guardian, grossed around 3 million euros last year, driven by the sale of Shaun The Sheep rights to theme parks in Japan and Sweden.

"We have been thinking about this a long time and built up considerable cash reserves so we could do this without borrowing any money", says Sproxton to The Guardian, and Lord added "We're not quitting yet. We are doing this because we love the company and because we love it we think this will be the best things for it. This is not about David and I leaving. It is a continuity deal. We always believed that independence was our strong suit. We didn't have to dance to anybody else's tune and could make our own decisions."

In the next few years there will also be further changes, with Sproxton leaving his role as managerial director, while Lord will continue to be Creative Director for at least another 5 years and the brilliant Nick Park on the board of the company. Park will also continue to perceive divisions of his creations that flow into Wallace & Gromit Limited, owned with Aardman.

The next big project is Shaun the Sheep movie Farmageddon, sequel of the 2015 film, in theaters in May of 2019.

(Peter Lord and David Sproxton)

[ Fra - source AnimationMagazine ]
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