Cinar Becomes Cookie Jar

Now that the acquisition by an investment group including former Nelvana toppers Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor is official, Toronto-based animation production company Cinar will be re-branded as Cookie Jar. Under the new name, the private company will be dedicated to developing, producing, distributing and marketing children’s entertainment and educational products.

Taylor and Hirsh officially announced the arrival of Cookie Jar at MIPTV in Cannes. It was also announced that Steve Carson and Patti Carson, respectively president and VP of Cinar publishing arm Carson-Dellosa, will serve as partners with Hirsh and Taylor.

Hirsh serves as CEO of Cookie Jar, while and Taylor holds the post of president and COO. In addition, Hirsh also acts as CEO of the company’s education division, which includes Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning.

"We are delighted to have completed our acquisition of Cinar and look forward to expanding our company with the further acquisition of companies involved in entertainment and education," says Hirsh. "Together with Steve and Patty, Toper Taylor and our management team and staff, we are committed to making Cookie Jar a place the entire educational and entertainment industries will want to play in."

Taylor adds, "Teaming Cookie Jar’s entertainment assets, Cinar and Filmfair, with its education assets, Carson-Dellosa Publishing and HighReach Learning, we will pioneer the edutainment industry around the world."

Taylor and Hirsh were joined by TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board in the $143.9 million takeover, which closed on Monday, March 15. The acquisition of Cinar Corp. gives Cookie Jar rights to such recognized animation brands as Caillou, Arthur and Mona the Vampire. The company also maintains a 20% minority interest in Teletoon Canada.