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Cinar turns into Cookie Jar

Cartoon co. is renamed after buyout

MONTREAL — With the sale of Montreal-based animator Cinar complete, the company is being relaunched under the name Cookie Jar.

Cinar was purchased by an investor group that includes former Nelvana execs Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor. Hirsh is Cookie Jar CEO; Taylor will be president-chief operating officer.

Cookie Jar will keep open Cinar’s education division, including publishing companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning.

At the same time, Cookie Jar announced that Steve Carson, president of Carson-Dellosa, and Patti Carson, the company’s VP, will join Hirsh and Taylor as partners.

Hirsh said Cookie Jar will double the amount of production Cinar was cranking out from 50 half-hour episodes annually to 100. Company also wants to develop more properties that can take advantage of the synergies between the entertainment and education divisions.

“I think it’s a good time to do this because the number of competitors has shrunk,” said Hirsh. “So I think there’s room for another quality competitor.”

Cookie Jar will make its official debut at the upcoming Mip TV market. Representing the company in Cannes will be Hirsh, Taylor, distribution chief Louis Fournier, production topper Lesley Taylor and head of marketing and licensing Kelly Elwood.

The investment group that acquired Cinar also includes TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board (OMERS).

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