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Harvey Sells All Of Its Classic Characters

The Harvey Entertainment Company has announced that it has signed an agreement with Classic Media, LLC, for the sale of its library of Classic Characters, including Casper, Richie Rich, Baby Huey and Little Audrey. Classic Media already owns the rights to the UPA characters Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing. The deal, scheduled to close within 90 days, is worth US$16 million plus debts associated with the characters. This move is Harvey's attempt to liquidate its bank debts. At the close of the deal, Harvey will change its name and reevaluate its remaining independent motion pictures production and distribution business. Roger A. Burlage, Harvey chairman, said, "that he regretted having to sell the Classic Characters, but that the circumstances surrounding the company's financial condition made the sale necessary." Eric Ellenbogen of Classic Media stated, "Harvey's classic character library compliments perfectly our focus on family and kids' entertainment." In August 2000, Harvey announced that Classic Media was going to purchase 60% of the company, however the deal was cancelled after the two companies couldn't reach a fair conversion price. Classic Media is a newly created investment group featuring former Golden Books chief Ellenbogen, former chairman of Universal Studios and CEO of Viacom Inc. Frank Biondi and producer Steve Tisch.

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