Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cookie Jar deal falls through, sign of the times

This just in Via Kidscreen:

AG, Cookie Jar Deal Called Off, AG Seeks New Buyers

January 07, 2009

Via Kidscreen: On the heels of announcing an extension of its home entertainment license with Lionsgate, American Greetings Properties has confirmed the sale of its CARE BEARS, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and SUSHI PACK properties to Toronto's Cookie Jar Entertainment will not go through.

An American Greetings spokesperson told KIDSCREEN DAILY, "These are very difficult economic times and the original deal with Cookie Jar is no longer viable." Furthermore, the spokesperson said, "We are still looking at other options as our intent is still to sell the CARE BEARS and STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE properties at this time."

Care Bears, Sushi Pack and Strawberry Shortcake remain under AG's ownership. Cookie Jar Entertainment had agreed to purchase the three properties from AG in July 2008 for US$195 million. The deal was to have closed on September 30. When contacted today, a spokesperson for Cookie Jar said that the company had nothing new to report at this time and had no additional comment.

As for the Lionsgate deal, along with picking up new CARE BEARS titles, Lionsgate has snagged DVD and electronic sell-through rights to AG's SUSHI PACK.

Lionsgate has been distributing CARE BEARS entertainment, including the classic TV series and direct-to-DVD CGI-animated features, for the past five years. The extended deal also gives the studio rights to 48 eps of the new series CARE BEARS: ADVENTURES IN CARE-A-LOT and a new CGI movie slated for a fall 2009 launch, as well as extended rights to the classic CB catalogue.

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