Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) has acquired Boulder Media, an animation company based in Dublin.
Boulder Media, which has 150 employees, has produced shows for Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, BBC and Disney, including the “Wander Over Yonder” show for Disney and “Go Jetters” and “Danger Mouse” for BBC. As a Hasbro wholly-owned subsidiary, Boulder will continue to produce animated series for third-party clients and animation projects for Hasbro brands. The company will report to Stephen Davis, head of Hasbro's entertainment and consumer products licensing division. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Popular brands of Hasbro, a toy company based in Providence, Rhode Island, include Littlest Pet Shop, the Gathering, Monopoly, My Little Pony, Nerf, Play-Doh and Transformers. Besides toys and games, the company’s lines of business include television programming, movies, digital gaming and consumer product licensing. The Boulder acquisition is its first animation studio. Most of the company’s brands have been acquired through mergers since the 1980s. In 2015, Hasbro sold it board-game manufacturing plants in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts and Waterford, Ireland, to the Cartamundi Group, which makes playing cards and cards for games.
Content companies have become increasingly valuable to acquirers, as smart phones and other mobile devices have made it easy for consumers to access media anywhere, any time. Earlier in July, the UFC mixed martial arts promoter was sold for $4 billion to a group that included Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG and private equity firms Silver Lake Partners LP, KKR & Co. and Michael Dell’s investment firm. Also in July, Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) acquired several New Jersey newspapers, including The (Bergen County) Record, New Jersey’s second-largest newspaper, from North Jersey Media Group Inc. And in May, the interest of Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK.A) in Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) was reported to be due to its media assets, including finance, sports and video websites.