DreamWorks Animation, the studio responsible for the Madagascar and Shrek film series, has reached an agreement to purchase Classic Media, owner of vintage and new entertainment properties including Rocky & Bullwinkle, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and VeggieTales. The price of $155 million includes cash, credit, and the retirement of debt.
Among the 450 titles and 6,100 episodes in Classic Media’s portfolio are several book-based brands, including Ian Falconer’s Olivia, Martin Handford’s Where’s Waldo?, Enid Blyton’s Noddy, and the classic Golden Books portfolio, co-owned with Random House. It also holds an expansive comic book archive, centered on properties including Casper the Friendly Ghost and Richie Rich. Some of its brands are owned outright, while others are partially owned through joint ventures; Classic also acts as an agent to outside properties for licensing and media representation.
Currently owned by Boomerang Media Holdings, a unit of private equity firm GTCR, Classic will be managed as a separate division of DreamWorks under the name DreamWorks Classics. It will continue to be headed by Classic co-CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman. Classic has 80 employees, generated $82.2 million in revenue, and had a profit of $39.2 million last year.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.