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WildBrain hires M&A specialist and eOne alum Mark Trachuk as general counsel

Canadian studio WildBrain has named former Entertainment One (eOne) exec Mark Trachuk, a veteran entertainment and securities lawyer whose specialities include mergers and acquisitions, as general counsel.

Mark Trachuk

In the Toronto-based role, Trachuk will work alongside WildBrain’s executive leadership team, overseeing matters related to corporate and securities legal affairs. He will also serve as corporate secretary to the publicly traded company’s board of directors.

Trachuk replaces former general counsel James Bishop, who has accepted “another opportunity,” said WildBrain.

Trachuk was eOne’s worldwide group general counsel and corporate secretary from 2018 to 2020, during which time he was part of the executive team that conducted the company’s US$3.8bn sale to Hasbro.

After leaving eOne, Trachuk served as counsel at business law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, where he practiced corporate and securities law with a focus on mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances and corporate governance. Before arriving at eOne, he was the senior partner in the business law group at Canadian law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, where he spent nearly three decades.

The appointment comes six months after WildBrain hired another former eOne exec, Nick Gawne, as chief financial officer.

WildBrain owns franchises including Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Inspector Gadget and Degrassi. Its portfolio of assets and divisions include kids’ network Family Channel, Vancouver-based animation studio, distribution arm, consumer products arm WildBrain CPLG and animation company House of Cool.

Trachuk arrives at a time when many of Canada’s larger firms are exploring mergers and acquisitions amid a turbulent market, and on the back of several other major deals.
Most recently, 9 Story was taken over by Scholastic for US$186m, while Lionsgate concluded its acquisition of eOne for US$375m, plus the assumption of production financing loans, in December. Thunderbird also engaged ACF Investment Bank last year to evaluate and assist with strategic alternatives.

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