DreamWorks Animation has agreed to buy Classic Media, owner of Casper, Lassie and The Lone Ranger, from private equity group Boomerang Media Holdings for $155 million.
Classic boasts one of the industry’s s most extensive libraries of family characters and brands including over 450 films and more than 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming. Classic owns one of the world’s largest comic book archives and media rights to the titles in the Golden Books library, which have sold over two billion copies worldwide.
Other properties include Where’s Waldo?, George of the Jungle, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Olivia, Postman Pat, Noddy, VeggieTales and holiday staples Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
”Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation’s franchise business, and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels,” said DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement.
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He said Classic founders and co-CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman will be ”a welcome addition to the DreamWorks Animation family.”
Classic Media has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the U.K. and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tenn.