Bell Media sells four TV properties to DHX Media for $170M


DHX Media has acquired Family Channel and three other properties from Bell Media after they went on the auction block earlier this year following BCE’s $3.38 billion purchase of Astral Media.

Halifax-based DHX Media will pay $170 million for Family, Disney XD, Disney Junior’s English-language channel and a French-language version of Disney Junior.

The all-cash deal will be financed with an expanded credit facility and cash on hand.

The transaction is expected to close in 2014 pending approvals from the Competition Bureau and the CRTC.

“Broadcasting is a natural extension for the company,” said  Steven DeNure, president and COO of DHX Media in a statement Thursday. “The acquisition of Family Channel further enhances our ability to operate as a vertically integrated player in the global children’s content business.”

BCE’s consent agreement with the Competition Bureau for the Astral Media deal called for Family and the Disney-branded channels to be spun off, along with other properties.

That includes an earlier side-deal after the Astral Media acquisition to sell a 50% interest in Teletoon/Télétoon, English-language Teletoon Retro and Cartoon Network Canada, and French-language Télétoon Rétro, Historia and Séries+, to Corus Entertainment.

DHX Media, meanwhile, which has stepped up library content sales to digital platforms internationally, earlier this year moved to feed that pipeline by buying Teletubbies owner Ragdoll Worldwide from BBC Worldwide and a consortium that included Ragdoll founder Anne Wood for $27.7 million in cash.

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