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DreamWorks Animation Acquires Classic Media

23 Jul, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel and Chris Tribbey

DreamWorks Animation July 23 said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Classic Media for $155 million in cash.

Classic Media owns “The Lone Ranger,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Lassie,” “Rocky & Bullwinkle” and “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” among other properties. Classic Media also owns contemporary bestsellers such as "VeggieTales" and the "Olivia" property, as well as hits "Postman Pat and Noddy" in international markets.

“Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation’s franchise business, and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, said in a statement.

Classic Media, which is co-headed by CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman, has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in New York, with offices in the United Kingdom and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tenn.

“No company knows the family entertainment business better than DreamWorks Animation and we are excited to join their family in a natural extension of our long-standing relationship that began years ago on Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” Ellenbogen said in a statement. “Classic Media brings to the table extensive rights to some of the most beloved family entertainment brands in the world. Our combination with DreamWorks Animation will expand the opportunities for us and for our content and distribution partners around the globe.”

DreamWorks Animation’s 3D feature film Mr. Peabody & Sherman is scheduled for release on Dec. 25, 2013.

“For over 75 years, Classic Media’s iconic properties have entertained kids and families around the world with a unique, cross-generational appeal that is also a defining characteristic of DreamWorks Animation's films,” said Bill Damaschke, chief creative officer at DreamWorks Animation. “We believe their characters and brands will continue to serve as a creative magnet for the industry’s top directors, producers and artists.”

For the 12 months ended Feb. 29, 2012, Classic Media earned net revenue of $82.2 million and operating profit of $19.2 million.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel and Chris Tribbey

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