Press release from Mattel:
Mattel, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of HIT Entertainment from a consortium of funds led by Apax Partners for $680 million in cash. HIT Entertainment is one of the largest independent owners of preschool intellectual property, including Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Fireman Sam® and Angelina Ballerina®. The Company previously announced its proposed acquisition of HIT Entertainment by press release on October 24, 2011.
The acquisition combines Mattel’s global marketing, distribution and brand management capabilities with HIT Entertainment’s global programming and licensing expertise to accelerate growth of the combined portfolio. “Mattel is thrilled to welcome the HIT Entertainment talent to our family under the direction of Fisher-Price Executive Vice President, David Allmark,” said Bryan Stockton, Chief Executive Officer of Mattel. “This acquisition supports our strategy to own, develop and grow world-class brands, further igniting the momentum behind our innovative toys and consumer products in the marketplace.”
“This is indeed a momentous day for Mattel, especially Fisher-Price,” said Allmark. “I am very excited about the prospects ahead for the collective Fisher-Price and HIT Entertainment brand portfolio. Each business has complementary capabilities – the combination of which presents a dynamic future.”
The Thomas & Friends brand is the premier brand in the HIT Entertainment portfolio. Created more than 65 years ago, the brand has grown into the #1 licensed preschool toy property in the world, with television programming, home entertainment products, toys and other consumer products available across the globe. It joins Mattel’s iconic brand portfolio that includes Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price® and American Girl®.
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT’s portfolio includes properties, such as Thomas & Friends®, Barney®, Bob the Builder®, Fireman Sam®, Angelina Ballerina®, Mike the Knight™, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production, content distribution, publishing, consumer products licensing and live events and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com .
As the worldwide leader in play, the Mattel family comprises such best-selling brands as Barbie®, the most popular fashion doll ever introduced, Hot Wheels®, American Girl® and Fisher Price® brands, which include Little People®, Power Wheels® and a wide array of entertainment-inspired toy lines. In 2012, Mattel was named one of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for the fifth consecutive year. Mattel also is ranked among Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel employs approximately 28,000 people in 43 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. At Mattel, we are "Creating the Future of Play." Follow Mattel on www.facebook.com/mattel  and www.twitter.com/mattel .