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HIT Acquires Gullane

C21 Media reports that HIT Entertainment has finalized its acquisition of Gullane, in a deal worth approximately US$215.2 million. Gullane had consistently rebuffed HIT's acquisition proposals until July 2002, when Gullane's directors agreed to a takeover by HIT following support from major shareholders Britt Allcroft and Angus Wright. Adam Mills, chairman of Gullane said: "After careful consideration and a comprehensive review of alternatives, the Board has concluded that an acquisition of Gullane by HIT is in the best interests of shareholders. The combined entity will be the major European player in children's rights management." The acquisition combines Hit's popular children's properties like ANGELINA BALLERINA, BARNEY and BOB THE BUILDER, with Gullane's strong brand THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE, creating one of the world's largest entertainment studios, worth nearly $775 million. HIT chief executive Rob Lawes stated, "HIT is now one of the world's leading independent young children's entertainment studio. Our plans now are to focus on developing existing brands and continuing to invest in the design, creation and production of new quality children's brands." A HIT spokesperson told C21 that over the next two months there will be a period of consolidation within the two companies, however it is too early to say in which areas there will be redundancies.