DreamWorks Animation Buys Classic Media for $155M

Jeffrey Katzenberg's animation house gets rights to Casper, Rocky and Bullwinkle and over 450 titles

DreamWorks Animation will purchase Classic Media for $155 million from Boomerang Media Holdings, the studio said Monday.

In Classic, the studio significantly bolsters its library by securing such family titles as "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "George of the Jungle," "Lassie" and "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle."  In total, DreamWorks Animation gets over 450 titles and more than 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming with its acquisition.

One of those titles, "Mr. Peabody and Sherman,"  is already forming the basis of a forthcoming DreamWorks Animation 3D film, due out in Christmas 2013.  Classic Media manages the characters in a joint venture with Jay Ward Productions.

"Classic Media brings a large and diverse collection of characters and branded assets that is extremely complementary to DreamWorks Animation's franchise business, and we plan to leverage it across our motion picture, television, home entertainment, consumer products, digital, theme park and live entertainment channels," Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer of DreamWorks Animation, said in a statement.

DreamWorks Animation scored a big hit with this summer's "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," which earned $476.3 million worldwide. Yet the studio's stock price has made for a bumpy ride at times, with analysts griping that Katzenberg's animation house is overly dependent on a handful of feature film releases and does not have diverse enough revenue streams.

Classic Media has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in New York City, with offices in the United Kingdom and a division, Big Idea Entertainment, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Classic Media Co-CEOs Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman will continue to oversee the company as a division of DreamWorks.