Kidz Bop was the brainchild of Craig Balsam and Cliff Chenfeld, former attorneys who left their corporate jobs, razors and ties to create an independent record label named aptly Razor and Tie. Balsam and Chenfield recognized that there was a dearth of quality audio content targeted to kids ages 4-11 and decided to create a fun, energetic and safe product children would enjoy and parents would endorse. The result is a collection of CD's featuring performances by children of the most popular songs on the Billboard charts and one of the top selling children's audio products in the United States over the past five years.
As experienced media investors, ABRY was aware of the growing Kidz Bop brand and formulated a thesis on the untapped opportunity. We arranged a meeting with Craig and Cliff to discuss those opportunities and a possible investment in the Company. The Founders were immediately drawn to the benefits an experienced investor could provide in growing the brand beyond its original scope. After a brief negotiation, we purchased a substantial stake in the Company, allowing the founders to achieve near term liquidity while participating in the potential future growth of the Company.
Since closing the transaction, Kidz Bop has been successful in substantially growing and diversifying the brand through various platforms. In addition to the core CD products, the Company has developed a number of brand extensions including holiday themed audio products, a top selling Karaoke toy and musical toothbrush licensed to Fisher Price, and a pre-loaded MP3 player licensed to Playaway. Coming off of the success of a show at Six Flags, in the summer of 2007, the Company launched an 80 city Kidz Bop World Tour featuring live performances of many of Kidz Bop's most popular songs. Billed as "Your First Rock Concert", the tour featured the same exciting, age appropriate tone that appeals to both children and parents.
Finally, sensing the strength of the brand and the traction similar brands had achieved over the internet, we assisted the Company in developing a comprehensive on-line strategy and assisted in conducting a search for a manager of e-media. The result is a Kidz Bop website featuring user generated video, social networking and video game functionality.
ABRY continues to introduce the Company to decision makers within the motion picture, video game and music industries and provides advice and guidance to the Founders as they work to grow and expand the brand globally.