DHX Media has made a swoop for Ragdoll Worldwide, the creator of hit pre-school brands including Teletubbies and In The Night Garden.
The firm was acquired from BBC Worldwide and a group including Ragdoll founder Anne Wood for £17.4 million in cash. This is to be funded from a CAD $25 million expansion of DHX Media’s current debt facility and the balance from cash reserves.
DHX Media expects the transaction to be accretive to net earnings per share for fiscal 2014.
Under the deal, DHX Media obtains 12 series – including The Adventures of Abney & Teal, Dipdap and Brum – in addition to 365 episodes of Teletubbies, 52 episodes of Teletubbies Everywhere and 100 episodes of In the Night Garden.
"Teletubbies and In the Night Garden are worldwide phenomena," said Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media. "These globally recognised brands will be highly complementary to the DHX Media library, which is now one of the largest independent libraries of children’s TV content in the world."
Ragdoll Productions founder Anne Wood added: "The sale of Ragdoll Worldwide will procure future growth for Ragdoll Productions and, with the passing of creative control for the future development of our catalogue of award winning programs to DHX Media, we are confident of their continued success for many years to come."
Wood, together with her son Christopher, will continue to manage and operate their own company, Ragdoll Productions, where she will serve as founder and creative director.
Marcus Arthur, MD of BBC Worldwide, UK and Australia, commented: "Finding the right new home for these beloved children’s properties was incredibly important for BBC Worldwide as we have worked hard over the years with Ragdoll to nurture them and build their popularity and commercial success, both in the UK and internationally.
"We are pleased that the brands will now see their next stage of growth under the ownership of DHX Media."