Company buys 'Attack' producer for $21 mil

LONDON — The Britt Allcroft Group is adding to its portfolio of children’s TV properties by buying Media Merchants Group, producer of “Art Attack,” for £14 million ($21 million).

“Art Attack” is a flagship kids show on the U.K.’s ITV web, and broadcasts regularly on the British version of the Disney Channel.

The acquisition is part of a strategic move by Britt Allcroft — best known for its Thomas the Tank Engine franchise — to grow more rapidly as a “rights-owning family entertainment studio.”

The company is seeking to achieve critical mass in three main areas — children’s brands, family movies and new media.

Britt Allcroft’s sales rose 10% to $11.3 million in the six months to Dec. 31, with net profits up 21% to $2.4 million.

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