Cookie Jar Group has entered into a definitive agreement to merge with DIC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Cookie Jar will pay approximately $31.5 million for all issued and outstanding equity in DIC in a transaction valued at approximately $87.6 million. Upon closing, DIC will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Cookie Jar, which will remain a private company.
The merger creates one of the world’s largest independent children’s entertainment and education companies with an animation library consisting of nearly 6,000 half-hours of programming. Cookie Jar will also have access to merchandising and licensing rights to such successful brands as Inspector Gadget, Horseland, Cake, Mommy & Me and American Greetings’ Strawberry Shortcake, which has earned $3 billion at retail since DIC re-launched the brand in 2004.
”Our combined company will be a powerhouse in children’s brands, with global reach through television, DVD, online, books, music and consumer products,’ comments Cookie Jar president and COO Toper Taylor. ‘We will be a more valuable partner for broadcasters, licensors and retailers with our expanded library, broad market reach and unmatched capabilities in taking a property from creation to global broadcast, licensing, retail and promotions.’
DIC president Jeffrey Edell adds, ‘By merging the assets of two global media companies, we are creating the opportunity to build an industry powerhouse that provides a viable platform for future integration of children’s businesses worldwide. In addition to an extensive brand portfolio and broadcast real estate, DIC brings an extensive new media business strategy that will further strengthen and enhance the Cookie Jar brand.’
Spearheaded by chairman and CEO Andy Heyward, DIC serves as the worldwide licensor or agent for such brands as McDonald’s, Strawberry Shortcake, Madeline, Mommy & Me, The Beginner’s Bible and Eloise. The company’s animation library features Inspector Gadget, Strawberry Shortcake, Horseland, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Madeline, Liberty’s Kids, Sonic The Hedgehog and Care Bears. The company’s assets also include a 33% stake in the international children’s channel KidsCo and ownership of pan-European licensing agency Copyright Promotions Group.
Cookie Jar Ent. is an independent producer and marketing and brand manager with such renowned children’s properties as The Doodlebops, Caillou, Hurray For Huckle!, Johnny Test and Magi-Nation. Its children’s educational arm, Cookie Jar Education Inc., includes Carson-Dellosa Publishing, HighReach Learning and Rainbow Bridge Publishing.