DHX Media has entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Cookie Jar Entertainment–a deal that will create Canada’s largest independent children’s entertainment company.
The deal is expected to be complete by mid-October, but is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
“Today is an exciting day for Canada’s children’s entertainment industry. Cookie Jar joining forces with DHX results in a company that is an independent global market leader in all aspects of children’s entertainment from distribution to production to licensing and merchandising,” says Michael Hirsh, chief executive officer, Cookie Jar. “There is an insatiable appetite for kids content in the new digital streaming universe, and we are very well positioned with our extensive library of evergreen, popular and recognizable brands to satisfy the market demand.”
Cookie Jar’s portfolio includes well-known global brands such as Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Paddington Bear, Arthur and Inspector Gadget. Also included in the deal would be Cookie Jar TV, a weekend-morning programming block on CBS and the Cookie Jar’s licensing and merchandising arm, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group.
In addition to Cookie Jar’s brand portfolio, DHX expects that the deal will significantly increase brand management and distribution capabilities for its own brands, which include Yo Gabba Gabba!, Rastamouse and Animal Mechanicals.
The deal also strengthens DHX’s capabilities in the digital segment, and will likely broaden its relationships with distributors such as Amazon, Comcast, Dish, Hulu and Netflix.
“This deal significantly enhances our operations in key areas. The acquisition of Cookie Jar increases our global reach, scale and potential growth,” says Michael Donovan, chief executive officer, DHX Media. “We are also focused on positioning the company to take advantage of emerging distribution platforms, and this deal will elevate our position in this area of business.”
The combined company will own more than 8,550 half-hours of programming that is currently aired in 160-plus countries around the world.