* A federal bankruptcy court judge has granted Random House and Classic Media approval to purchase pubco Golden Books for US$84 million in cash, with the assumption of US$70 million in liabilities. In early June, Golden had agreed to be bought out by DIC Entertainment for US$73 million plus debt worth US$90 million. The new deal, which is contingent upon government approval, is expected to become official later this month.
* Calabasas, California-based infant and preschool products retailer The Right Start will buy embattled specialty toy chain Zany Brainy. Under the proposed deal, TRS will pay US$99.4 million in cash, stock and liability for Zany, which filed for bankruptcy in May. The deal is expected to close on September 5. In related news, investment banking firm Waterton Management–which had been given the OK to purchase Zany for US$115 million–will invest US$20 million to pick up a 48% diluted stake in TRS instead, pending the deal’s approval.