Canadian youth prodco DHX Media has acquired 100% of L.A.-based Wildbrain Entertainment, the studio behind Yo Gabba Gabba!, for a reported US$8 million and a three year earn-out.
The acquisition further strengthens DHX Media’s development, production, marketing and licensing capabilities and marks another step in the company’s goal of becoming a global independent storehouse of family entertainment. The deal will combine DHX Media’s production capabilities and international TV broadcast relationships with Wildbrain’s in-house creative team, which will remain in L.A.
Steven DeNure, president and COO of DHX Media says the driving forces behind the acquisition were Wildbrain’s strong properties, proven creative abilities and consumer products expertise under the leadership of president Michael Polis. To that effect, Polis will remain as president of Wildbrain while also serving as EVP of branded entertainment and consumer products for DHX Media. Under this expanded role he will lead DHX Media’s international licensing activities.
‘There’s an excellent capacity for merchandising and licensing areas, especially with Michael Polis on board,’ says DeNure, adding that DHX is looking at a long list of ways to encourage brand extension. ‘We think there are a number of big wins for us in this.’
Wildbrain, for its part, intends to leverage DHX’s global distribution infrastructure for future properties and secure new merchandising and licensing revenue opportunities in the US and abroad.
Laced into the deal are 53 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba!, the live touring show and popular TV series that launched on Nickelodeon in 2007. International television sales for Yo Gabba Gabba! are currently handled by RDF Rights. Wilbrain currently has the The Ricky Gervais Show in production for HBO and Bubbleguppies in development for Nick Jr.