DIC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Golden Books Family Entertainment, Inc., in a deal valued at $170 million. The deal entails a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Golden Books and its domestic subsidiaries, with DIC petitioning to purchase the companys assets. Golden Books operations will continue as usual during the court and sale process, which is expected to take approximately 60 days. Golden Books assets are quite extensive. DIC will be integrating a library of more than 500,000 titles, including an extensive comic book collection, 3,000 movies, television series, specials and cartoons. Golden Books leading brands include LASSIE, UNDERDOG, PAT THE BUNNY, the POKY LITTLE PUPPY and a variety of seasonal franchises, including FROSTY THE SNOWMAN, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER and the LITTLE DRUMMER BOY. DIC will maintain Golden Books worldwide distribution network with a retail presence in more than 100,000 stores. DIC chairman and CEO Andy Heyward said, We believe the business combination when implemented will further extend our library of valuable branded characters as well as provide additional opportunities to leverage the powerful Golden Books brand and enormous collection of wonderful characters, publications and programs that families have cherished for nearly 60 years. According to Richard E. Snyder, chairman and chief executive officer of Golden Books Family Entertainment, This partnership launches a new era of greatly expanded reach and impact for Golden Books publications and programming. Combining the expertise of Andy Heyward and his team, new capital to invest in our programming and products, the trust that generations of families continue to have in Golden Books and the improvements to our franchise made in recent years will enable us to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities before us. Heyward repurchased DIC from Disney in November 2000, in partnership with Bain Capital, LLC, a global investment firm with over $12 billion in assets under management. DICs catalog of over 2,500 episodes includes such well known properties as INSPECTOR GADGET, MADELINE, SAILOR MOON, SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, WHERE ON EARTH IS CARMEN SANDIEGO?, ACTION MAN, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and SUPER MARIO BROS.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.