DHX Media has entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Cookie Jar Entertainment to create Canada’s largest independent children’s entertainment company.
Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Vancouver --
DHX Media, a leading international producer and distributor of television programming and interactive content, has entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Cookie Jar Entertainment to create Canada’s largest independent children’s entertainment company, bringing together globally recognized brands that can be seen in over 160 countries.
The deal will be completed in mid October subject to a number of conditions including the receipt of shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The combined company will own the world’s most extensive independent library of children’s entertainment, including more than 8,550 half hours of programming and will significantly expand the business activities of rights exploitation and brand management across its own and third party titles. Properties will include Yo Gabba Gabba!, Rastamouse, Franny’s Feet, Animal Mechanicals, Kid vs. Kat, Angela Anaconda, Martha Speaks as well as Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, The Doodlebops and Johnny Test.
The deal also significantly strengthens DHX’s capabilities in the rapidly growing digital segment, and broadens its relationships with distributors including Amazon, Comcast, DISH, Hulu, Netflix, Samsung, Telmex and Vivendi.
The transaction implies an enterprise value for Cookie Jar of $111 million. DHX expects to realize cost synergies which should be achieved within the first year following the closing of the transaction.
Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media said: “This deal significantly enhances our operations in key areas. The acquisition of Cookie Jar increases our global reach, scale and potential growth. We are also focused on positioning the company to take advantage of emerging distribution platforms and this deal will elevate our position in this area of business.”
“Today is an exciting day for Canada’s children’s entertainment industry,” said Michael Hirsh, Cookie Jar’s CEO. “Cookie Jar joining forces with DHX results in a company that is an independent global market leader in all aspects of children’s entertainment from distribution to production to licensing and merchandising. There is an insatiable appetite for kids content in the new digital streaming universe and we are very well positioned with our extensive library of evergreen, popular and recognizable brands to satisfy the market demand.”
Cookie Jar has a significant content library and features some of the world's most recognizable series including Caillou, Inspector Gadget, and Johnny Test. The company controls Cookie Jar TV, the weekend morning block on CBS. Cookie Jar has offices in Toronto, Los Angeles and in addition, throughout Western Europe, as part of its Copyright Promotions Licensing Group, a leading licensor and merchandiser of third party brands and characters.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.