DHX Media has acquired Cookie Jar Entertainment in a deal that creates Canada’s largest independent children’s entertainment group.
The deal values Cookie Jar at US$111m, which is US$23.1m more the the overall US$87.9m Cookie Jar paid to acquire DIC Entertainment in June 2008.
It brings together Toronto-listed DHX, which has produced shows such as Franny’s Feet and Martha Speaks and sells series such as UK hit Rastamouse, and Cookie Jar, which has a library of almost 6,000 half-hours including Caillou, Inspector Gadget and The Doodleboops. Cookie Jar also operates CBS Saturday morning programming block Cookie Jar TV.
The merged company will have a library of more than 8,550 half-hours. It also has combined distribution agreements with the likes of Dish, Hulu, Netflix, Samsung, Telmex and Vivendi. DHX expects the deal to “realise cost synergies, which should be achieved within the first year following the closing of the transaction.”
“This deal significantly enhances our operations in key areas,” said DHX Media CEO Michael Donovan. “The acquisition of Cookie Jar increases our global reach, scale and potential growth. We are also focused on positioning the company to take advantage of emerging distribution platforms and this deal will elevate our position in this area of business.”
“Cookie Jar joining forces with DHX results in a company that is an independent global market leader in all aspects of children’s entertainment from distribution to production to licensing and merchandising,” added Cookie Jar’s CEO Michael Hirsch.
The deal will complete in mid-October subject to conditions and shareholder and regulatory approval.