Entertainment One has agreed to acquire Canadian producer and distributor DHX Media, which owns Decode Entertainment, Halifax Films and Studio B Productions, for a cool US$63.2 million. The deal is expected to be completed by December.
‘For companies that choose to be public, size matters,’ says Decode Entertainment president Steven DeNure, adding that initial talks about the merger started roughly six months ago, but picked up momentum quickly in the last few weeks. ‘Being attached to a group with a broader base will be good for us.’
Specifically, DHX and its some 2,200 half hours of kids content will benefit from Entertainment One’s extensive DVD distribution business. According to DeNure, the DHX executive team will remain in place and will form part of the television division of the enlarged group, overseen by Patrice Theroux, Entertainment One’s president of filmed entertainment. And he adds that current productions will be unaffected by the acquisition.
‘It’s a change in terms of structure and organization,’ says DeNure. ‘But it’s business as usual, just with a bigger umbrella…When it comes down to it, we are going to keep doing the things that have earned our company its reputation in Canada and internationally.’
The merged company, which will be called Entertainment One, will be listed on both the AIM in London and the Toronto Stock Exchange.This deal comes hard on the heels of Entertainment One’s acquisitions of Blueprint Entertainment, Barna Alpa Productions, Oasis International and Maximum Films, making the hungry conglom one of Canada’s biggest entertainment players.