DreamWorks Animation has entered an agreement to buy New York-based Classic Media for US$155 million from Boomerang Media Holdings.
The deal will see DreamWorks scoop up Classic Media’s vast library of kids and family entertainment titles (450 in total), which contains more than 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming. Popular properties include Casper the Friendly Ghost, Where’s Waldo?, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, George of the Jungle, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Postman Pat, Noddy, Veggie Tales and Olivia.
Classic Media’s comic book archive, one of the largest in the world, will also be acquired, as well as classic holiday TV specials such as Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, has stated the new brands would be leveraged across movies, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme parks and live entertainment channels.
The acquisition will also see DreamWorks extend its existing relationship with the Classic Media/Jay Ward Productions property Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which DreamWorks will release as a 3D movie on December 25, 2013. Classic Media manages the rights to the entire Jay Ward portfolio, which also includes Rocky & Bullwinkle.
Classic Media earned net revenue of US$82.2 million for the year ending February 29, 2012, and has approximately 80 employees with headquarters in New York City, offices in the UK and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tennessee.
DreamWorks, which named Gregg Taylor as its new head of development in January this year, expects to close the deal by September 30, 2012.