Deal to sell production facility is part of company effort to streamline operations and cut costs.
DHX Media has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Halifax animation studio, according to a company announcement. The sale is part of the global children’s content and brands company’s ongoing strategic shift to focus and streamline its production operations. In an official statement, Michael Donovan, CEO and executive chairman, said, “The sale will generate operating efficiencies by consolidating animation production, and aligns with our objectives of rationalizing costs, simplifying our organization and focusing resources.”
The sale does not include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which continues to be owned by DHX Media and produced in Halifax. The sale is expected to close on or about December 31, 2018, and is subject to customary closing conditions, applicable third-party consents and the execution of certain ancillary agreements.
As reported in Kidscreen, the studio, which employs 168 full-time staff, is being sold to a local company called IoM Media Ventures. At the conclusion of the sale, all DHX animation production will be handled in its Vancouver studio, where their west coast 2D and CG animation subsidiaries were consolidated in 2016 into a 75,000 square-foot facility now staffed by 600 people.
DHX Media will remain headquartered in Halifax – operations include DHX Distribution, with offices in Toronto, L.A., Paris and Beijing, DHX Studios, with properties including Inspector Gadget, Teletubbies and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, DHX Brands, which is responsible consumer products and brand management, and DHX Television, home to series such as The Next Step and Top Chef Jr. The company also owns WildBrain, an industry leader in the management and creation of preschool and children’s entertainment content on platforms such as YouTube, Amazon Video Direct and others.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.