Cinar turning new page with publishing co. buy

MONTREAL — Cinar Films, the Montreal-based kids TV producer, has inked a deal to acquire educational publisher Carson-Dellosa Publishing Co. of Greensboro, N.C., for $40.5 million.

The acquisition gives the Canadian family-fare specialist a foothold in the educational market for the first time, and execs at Cinar predict that the new company will add $36 million to Cinar’s overall revenue in 1998.

Cinar will pay for the purchase of Carson-Dellosa and its two affiliates, packaging company Unique Collating Service and science-kits producer the Wild Goose Co., with $24.5 million in cash and $16 million in class B subordinate voting shares of Cinar.

The principal owners of Carson-Dellosa are Stephen T. Carson, Patricia L. Carson and Janet B. Dellosa, and they will all remain in their current executive positions with the company. The North Carolina-based company had revenues of $21 million in 1996.

The addition of Carson-Dellosa will present marketing opportunities for Cinar’s various kids programs, and Cinar will be using the more than 1,200 Carson-Dellosa education products to help build awareness of Cinar shows and characters. Cinar CEO Micheline Charest said that a show like “Wimzie’s House,” which will debut this fall on PBS, is the perfect example of a Cinar production that could be modified, upping the educational side of the show for video release through the vast Carson-Dellosa network in the North American school system. Carson-Dellosa distributes its products to more than 1,400 school stores and it is also active in direct-mail catalog sales.

Cinar is planning to build on its background in TV to help develop audiovisual and multimedia products to complement Carson-Dellosa’s current product line of specialty school supplies and classroom materials.

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