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D’Works Animation eyes ‘Casper’ company

Studio in talks to buy Classic Media for over $150 million

DreamWorks Animation is in talks to acquire Classic Media for more than $150 million.

While DWA and Classic Media have declined to comment, sources close to the situation confirmed to Variety that the offer has been made.

Should the deal close, DWA would own a vast library of characters, including Archie, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Waldo of “Where’s Waldo?,” Voltron, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the VeggieTales characters, Lassie and the Lone Ranger — the last of which is being turned into a bigscreen actioner by Jerry Bruckheimer at Disney.

Gotham-based Classic Media also owns “Veggie Tales” producer Big Idea Entertainment.

Classic Media’s characters are exploited mostly through consumer products and licensing deals, primarily because it doesn’t own other elements like film or TV rights to all the characters. That could pose a problem for DWA down the line, but the privately owned company generated $376 million last year through licensing.

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