In an effort to maximize shareholder value, The Harvey Entertainment Company announced on June 18, 2001 that it has retained the investment banking firm of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin to explore strategic alternatives and opportunities, following the completion of its pending transaction with Classic Media LLC. Founded in 1970, Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin provides a wide range of services including mergers and acquisitions, private placements and other financial advisory services. The firm is ranked among the top 10 financial advisors in U.S. mergers and acquisitions under $500 million. Harvey is a diversified entertainment company engaged in the management and exploitation of branded characters through merchandising, licensing and all entertainment media. Harvey has an entertainment library consisting of over 150 motion pictures and 60 television episodes. Through its PM subsidiary, Harvey is involved in the production and distribution of motion pictures and television. The Harvey Classic Character brands include hundreds of characters such as Casper, the Friendly Ghost, Hot Stuff, Bunny, Richie Rich, Wendy the Witch, Herman and Katnip and The Ghostly Trio. In May 2001, Harvey and Classic Media, LLC had amended their prior agreement for the sale of Harveys library of classic characters, as well as certain contractual rights and agreements that relate to those assets. The parties had agreed to increase the purchase price to US$17 million, to be paid in cash at the closing, plus the assumption of certain liabilities. The closing is expected to occur shortly, subject to receipt of the shareholder vote from a June 12, 2001 shareholders meeting, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Signed on March 9, 2001, the prior deal was worth US$16 million plus debts associated with the characters.
Check out "Hearst and Harvey: Reinventing the Classics," where Joan Kim interviews Leslie Levine on her task at hand bringing Harvey's classic characters to consumers in new, cool ways.
Also check out "Harvey Entertainment Takes Control," where Heather Kenyon talks with Rick Mischel, president and COO of Harvey Entertainment, about the companys transition from a licensor to a producer/distributor with the production of CASPERS HAUNTED CHRISTMAS.