Halifax, Canada-based DHX Media has acquired Ragdoll Worldwide for US$27.7 million in cash. The purchase will grow DHX’s content library by more than 1,350 episodes across 12 properties, including hit preschool series Teletubbies and In the Night Garden.
DHX purchased Ragdoll from BBC Worldwide and an investment group that includes the prodco’s founder, Anne Wood, who will continue to run Ragdoll Productions as founder and creative director. Ragdoll Worldwide CEO Mark Hollingsworth will continue on as a consultant, and select members of Ragdoll’s consumer products team will join DHX’s London offices to ensure brand continuity of the properties.
Among the 12 series headed under the DHX umbrella are UK hits The Adventures of Abney & Teal, Dipdap and Brum. Plus 365 episodes of Teletubbies, 52 episodes of Teletubbies Everywhere and 100 episodes of In the Night Garden will now be owned by DHX. Teletubbies has aired in more than 120 countries and the property’s top-five postings on YouTube have garnered a cumulative 286 million views.
Steven DeNure, DHX Media president and COO, tells Kidscreen that there are real prospects for these well-recognized brands to join the company’s expanding digital initiatives. “Our push into the digital space will provide some great opportunities, and we will continue the existing licensing programs,” he says, adding that the Ragdoll preschool properties are a strategic addition to a growing portfolio that includes Yo Gabba Gabba! (DHX purchased property owner Wildbrain Entertainment back in 2010 for US$8 million) and Caillou.
DHX holds one of the largest independent children’s TV libraries in the world and serves as a leading supplier to global SVOD services. Ragdoll Worldwide was established as a joint-venture in 2006 between BBC Worldwide and Anne Wood’s production company, Ragdoll Ltd.