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DreamWorks to buy Classic Media for $155M, gaining rights to 'Casper,' 'Rocky & Bullwinkle'
GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) ¯¯¯ DreamWorks Animation SKG on Monday said it has agreed to buy Classic Media, custodian of a library of movies and TV series that includes "Casper the Friendly Ghost," ''Lassie," ''Rocky & Bullwinkle," and "The Lone Ranger."
Dreamworks Animation is paying $155 million in cash to Classic Media's owner, Boomerang Media Holdings. Boomerang was formed by private-equity firm GTCR and Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman, who founded Classic Media in 2000.
"Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation's franchise business," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.
Classic Media has about 80 employees and is based in New York. It had an operating profit of $19.2 million on $82.2 million in revenue in the year that ended Feb. 29.
Classic Media owns 450 movies and 6,100 episodes of TV shows, both animated and live action. They include Christmas classics "Frosty the Snowman," ''Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."
It also owns a comic-book archive and the media rights to the "Golden Books" series of children's books.
DreamWorks Animation is based in Glendale, Calif. It's the home of franchises like "Shrek" and "Madagascar."
Its shares slipped 3 cents to $19.13 in morning trading as the broader markets fell sharply.