Animation giant DreamWorks to acquire Classic Media for $155m

US animated film producer DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc (NASDAQ:DWA) on Monday said it had inked a deal to buy Classic Media LLC, owner of numerous well-known characters and brands, for USD155m (EUR128m) in cash from Boomerang Media Holdings I LLC.

Classic Media’s portfolio comprises a rich collection of more than 450 titles, among which Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lassie, The Lone Ranger, George of the Jungle, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

The move will complement DreamWorks franchise business, chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said. The buyer will fund the deal, forecast to be earnings enhancing in the first year, with a mix of cash and debt.

The deal, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, is due to close in the quarter to 30 September.

JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) served as financial advisor to DreamWorks Animation, while Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and O’Melveny & Myers LLP acted as its legal advisors. Classic Media was advised by Jefferies & Company Inc and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

New York City-based Classic Media employs nearly 80 people in its offices. For the year to end-February 2012, Classic Media booked revenues of USD82.2m and operating profit of USD19.2m.