Canada-listed production and distribution group DHX Media has acquired W!ldbrain Entertainment, the US-based producer of Yo Gabba Gabba! and The Ricky Gervais Show, for an initial payment of US$8 million.
W!ldbrain boss Michael Polis will remain at the helm of the producer and also becomes executive VP, branded entertainment & consumer products at DHX, running the company’s international licensing activities.
DHX paid an initial US$8 million for W!ldbrain with further payments dependent upon the performance of Yo Gabba Gabba! as part of a three year earn out provision. The hit kids show airs on Nickelodeon in the US. It is distributed by RDF Rights. The Ricky Gervais Show airs on HBO in the US and Channel 4 in the UK.
The US producer recorded revenues of US$6.9 million for the first half of 2010 and has assets valued at US$12.8 million.
DHX, which last week integrated production and distribution subsidiaries Decode, Halifax Film and Studio B into the common DHX Media brand, is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its share price rose 13% in the wake of the deal.
Michael Donovan, Chairman and CEO, DHX Media said: “W!ldbrain is a great fit for our business. In addition to gaining a new hit US property in Yo Gabba Gabba! and its live show, DHX Media will also benefit from an LA-based studio with a strong creative and marketing track record and excellent US broadcaster relationships.”
Michael Polis added: “In addition to further accelerating our development of coproductions, growing our successful franchises and leveraging DHX’s global distribution infrastructure for future properties, we look forward to working with DHX Media to secure new merchandising and licensing revenue opportunities in the US and beyond.”