Kidvid courtship renewed

Entertainment Rights preps $43 mil bid for Chorion

LONDON — Two of Britain’s biggest owners of children’s TV characters have renewed their courtship dance, with Entertainment Rights signaling its intent to make a $43.5 million takeover bid for Chorion.

Entertainment Rights owns characters including Postman Pat and Basil Brush, along with rights to Mattel’s Barbie. Chorion owns rights the Enid Blyton books, as well as more grown-up authors such as Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon.

Chorion has been subject to several unsolicited approaches by Entertainment Rights, and rejected the most recent one in December, saying it undervalued the business.

On Dec. 22, the Takeovers and Mergers Panel ordered Entertainment Rights either to make a formal offer for Chorion by Feb. 4, or to withdraw from making any further approaches for another six months.

The latest Entertainment Rights proposal is a 50-50 cash-and-stock deal, representing a 35% premium on Chorion’s average share price for the past six months.

Whether Entertainment Rights turns this proposal into a formal bid by the Feb. 4 deadline will depend on the response from the Chorion board.

Mike Heap, chief exec of Entertainment Rights, commented, “Aggregating the content of Entertainment Rights and Chorion will create a significant internationally focused business well placed to compete in the global media rights arena.”

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