Video-streaming business Netflix has announced its first acquisition – a Scottish comic book company.
Millarworld was founded by Scottish writer Mark Millar and is home to stories such as Reborn, Empress, Kingsman, Huck and Jupiter’s Circle.
The acquisition will give Netflix a selection of character franchises which it can use to develop films, TV series and children’s shows.
Three of Millarworld’s franchises have already been developed into films that have earned nearly $1bn (£767m) at the worldwide box office.
Terms of the acquisition were not revealed and California-based Netflix did not say how much it paid for the comic book publisher.
It has recently spent heavily on original movies and shows to attract new viewers and set itself apart from rivals.
Image: Mark Millar said he was ‘still blinking’ over the deal
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said: “Mark has created a next-generation comics universe, full of indelible characters living in situations people around the world can identify easily with.
“We look forward to creating new Netflix Originals from several existing franchises as well as new super-hero, anti-hero, fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories Mark and his team will continue to create and publish.”
Mr Millar, a 47-year-old from Coatbridge, runs Millarworld with his wife Lucy, having created it in the early 2000s after working at Marvel.
On his website, he said: “Warner Bros bought DC Comics in 1968.
“Disney bought Marvel in 2009.
“Today Netflix purchased Millarworld and I’m still blinking.
“This is only the third time in history a comic-book company purchase on this scale has ever happened.
“I started Millarworld as a creator-owned comic-book company nearly 15 years ago, after talking some artist pals into being their own bosses.
“We’d all had success at DC and Marvel, but this was a chance to control the characters created and reap the rewards from any future movies, TV or merchandise that ever came from those characters and books.
“Over the years, Millarworld has amassed 20 different franchises working with the world’s greatest artists, and now Millarworld has been bought by the hottest, most exciting entertainment company on the planet.
“To say this is the best thing that ever happened in our professional lives would be an understatement.”