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Random House, Classic Media Buy Bankrupt Golden Books

Random House Inc. and Classic Media Inc. have purchased, through a bankruptcy court auction, the assets of children's book publisher Golden Books Family Entertainment Inc. for US$84.4 million and the assumption of most of its debt. Industry sources estimate Golden Books' debt is close to $50 million. The Golden Books portfolio features over 500,000 titles including characters like Pat the Bunny and Poky Little Puppy, a vast comic book collection and 3,000 movies, television specials and cartoons. As part of the purchase, Random House will gain Golden Books book publishing properties, while Classic Media, the owners of the Harvey characters and Mr. Magoo, will acquire the assets of Golden Books' entertainment division and merchandising rights for Golden's characters. Early in June, DIC Entertainment and HarperCollins Publishers offered $170 million for Golden Books, including $73 million in cash, $7 million in notes issued by DIC and $90 million in liabilities. "Ultimately, the bidding reached a point where it made more sense to bow out," said Andy Heyward, DIC chief executive.

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