DreamWorks Animation Acquires Casper, Lassie, Lone Ranger, Rocky & Bullwinkle and Much More Deadline
DreamWorks Animation SKG announced today that it will acquire Classic Media, a company that possesses the Golden Books library as well as legendary characters including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Where’s Waldo?, Lassie, the Lone Ranger, George of the Jungle and Rocky & Bullwinkle along with “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” reports Deadline.com.
The price was $155 million.
In a statement, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation, said: “Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation’s franchise business, and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels. Founders and co-CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman -- seasoned executives with over 20 years of industry experience and a proven track record of success in managing high-quality content -- have built an amazing team at Classic Media and are a welcome addition to the DreamWorks Animation family.”
Ellenbogen said in the statement: “No company knows the family entertainment business better than DreamWorks Animation and we are excited to join their family in a natural extension of our long-standing relationship that began years ago on Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Classic Media brings to the table extensive rights to some of the most beloved family entertainment brands in the world. Our combination with DreamWorks Animation will expand the opportunities for us and for our content and distribution partners around the globe.”
Summing up the deal, Lew Coleman, DreamWorks Animation’s president and chief financial officer, commented: “As part of DreamWorks Animation’s ongoing diversification strategy, this acquisition combines our hit-driven business with Classic Media’s extensive and sustainable library revenue stream. We expect the transaction to be accretive to our earnings in the first full year following the completion of the acquisition.”