Halifax, NS – 16 September 2013 – DHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX), a leading independent creator, producer, distributor and licensor of children’s entertainment content, is pleased to announce its acquisition of Ragdoll Worldwide Ltd. (“Ragdoll”) from BBC Worldwide and a group including the founder of Ragdoll, Anne Wood for GBP 17.4 million (approximately CAD $28.4 million) in cash, to be funded from a CAD $25 million expansion of DHX Media’s current debt facility and the balance from cash reserves, including its revolving line of credit. DHX Media expects the transaction to be accretive to net earnings per share for fiscal 2014.
Under the agreement, DHX Media obtains twelve series, including popular UK series The Adventures of Abney & Teal, BAFTA-winning Dipdap and Brum, in addition to 365 episodes of Teletubbies, 52 episodes of Teletubbies Everywhereand 100 episodes of In the Night Garden. Lauded for entertaining and educating generations of children around the globe, Ragdoll Worldwide’s flagship properties, Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, have achieved significant commercial success since inception through strong broadcast and licensing programs. Teletubbies has aired in over 120 countries and its enduring resonance with children is further underscored by the fact that its top five postings on YouTube have garnered a cumulative 286,000,000 views.
Michael Donovan, CEO of DHX Media, said: “Teletubbies and In the Night Garden are worldwide phenomena. These globally recognized 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. As a leading supplier to subscription video on-demand (“SVOD”) services worldwide, and as an operator of our own SVOD, we are uniquely positioned to continue to develop these evergreen children’s properties in exciting new ways and we also look to maintain a continuing link with Anne Wood, one of the most experienced and passionate producers in the business.”
Ragdoll Worldwide was established as a joint venture in 2006 between BBC Worldwide, BBC’s commercial arm, and Anne Wood’s production company, Ragdoll Ltd. Anne Wood is one of the UK’s best-known and critically renowned children’s television producers. She was awarded a CBE in the 2000 Millennium Queen’s Honors List for her services to children’s broadcasting and is responsible for some of the world’s most recognized children’s programming creations.
Anne Wood, founder of Ragdoll Productions Ltd and co-creator of Teletubbies with Andrew Davenport, who also createdIn the Night Garden said: “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.”
Anne Wood, together with her son, Christopher, will continue to manage and operate their own company, Ragdoll Productions, for which she will serve as Founder and Creative Director.
Marcus Arthur, Managing Director of BBC Worldwide, UK and Australia said: “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.”
For more information please contact:
David A. Regan – EVP, Corporate Development & IR, DHX Media Ltd.
Financial Media: Shaun Smith – TMX Equicom
+1 416-815-0700 ext 252
Trade Media: Aimee Norman at DDA Blueprint
+44 (0) 20 8985 4708
BBC Worldwide: Philip Fleming/Emma Finlay
+44 (0) 20 843 32596 / Tel: +44 (0) 20 843 32536
Ragdoll Productions: Mary Hagger at Hagger PR
+44 (0) 1789 269368
About DHX Media
DHX Media (www.dhxmedia.com) is a leader in the creation, production and licensing of family entertainment rights. DHX Media owns, markets and distributes over 8,500 half hours of children’s entertainment content, and exploits owned properties through its consumer products licensing business. DHX Media is recognized for brands such as Caillou, Busytown Mysteries, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, Animal Mechanicals, Kid vs. Kat, Super WHY!, Rastamouse, and Yo Gabba Gabba!. The company also provides programming for Cookie Jar TV, the weekend morning block on CBS. DHX Media’s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group, (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands. DHX Media has offices in Toronto, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Halifax, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Netherlands and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
About BBC Worldwide Ltd.
BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC public service mission and to maximise profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also builds the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas and champions British creativity.
In 2012/13, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £156m and headline sales of £1,116m and returned £156m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: http://www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview
This press release contains forward looking statements with respect to the Company, including statements about the value of the substantial issuer bid to the Company’s remaining shareholders and its effects on the Company’s earnings per share. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on information currently available to the Company. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations, among other things, include risks related to market factors, including changing popularity of the titles in the Company’s production library, application of accounting policies and principles, and production related risks, and other factors discussed in materials filed with applicable securities regulatory authorities from time to time including matters discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Company’s short form prospectus dated September , 2012. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances.