Classic Media Acquires Harvey Entertainment
Classic Media, a newly created investment group featuring former Golden Books chief Eric Ellenbogen, former chairman of Universal Studios and CEO of Viacom Inc. Frank Biondi and producer Steve Tisch, agreed to purchase a 60% stake in Harvey Entertainment in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about US$30 million. Currently, it is unclear how the move will effect Harveys management structure, but Classic Media officials have said they will be active in company discussions. "Our board of directors felt that this proposal represented the best combination of capital, new management expertise and likelihood of consummation," said Harvey chairman Roger Burlage. Burlage with an investment group paid $17 million for a 37% controlling stake in Harvey in April 1999. The Classic Media deal will involve a $26 million cash payment and all of the stock in UPA Industries, which owns rights to Mr. Magoo. Ellenbogen and Classic Media recently acquired UPA and its Magoo rights from the estate of longtime owner Henry Saperstein. It was reported that up to nine companies were courting Harvey, including Canadian film producer Lions Gate.