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Entertainment One buys DHX

Canadian company nabs TV producer

Canuck producer and distributor Entertainment One continued its buying spree Monday, taking over TV producer DHX Media for C$68 million ($65 million).

Entertainment One gains access to Halifax-based DHX’s library of 2,200 half-hours of programming, including around 60 series, notably “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” DHX owns Halifax Film, Toronto-based Decode Entertainment and Vancouver-based Studio B Prods.

Last week, Entertainment One completed its acquisition of TV producers Barna-Alper Prods. and Blueprint Entertainment, TV distrib Oasis Intl. and distributor Maximum Films. Purchases were announced in July.

The deal also gives Entertainment One a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange via DHX, something it coveted but deemed too difficult to achieve in present market conditions. It will continue to be listed on the Alternative Investment Market in the U.K.

DHX CEO Michael Donovan said his company was eager to make the deal because those same market conditions had made the past year difficult for a micro-cap company like his.

“Entertainment One is one of the largest independent distributors in the English-speaking world and size actually matters,” Donovan said. “It gives our shows access to a bigger distribution platform.”

Darren Throop will remain CEO of Entertainment One and the filmed entertainment division will still be run by Patrice Theroux. Key management at DHX are expected to remain as part of Entertainment One’s TV division, which will continue to be overseen by Theroux. Donovan may stay on in a non-executive advisory role.

The deal has to be approved by Entertainment One and DHX shareholders.

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