Boomerang gets $200 mil PE infusion


A Chicago-based private-equity firm has invested $200 million in Boomerang Media, a company created late last year by the duo who founded Classic Media.

Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman are co-CEOs of Boomerang, which wants to use the $200 million cash infusion from GTCR to acquire "iconic, branded entertainment assets."

GTCR is a private-equity firm that manages more than $8 billion of equity capital.

Ellenbogen and Engelman founded Classic Media in 2000 and grew it into a formidable library of kid-friendly entertainment, controlling such franchises as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Underdog," "Pat the Bunny," "Rocky & Bullwinkle and Friends," "Roger Ramjet" and "Casper the Friendly Ghost."

While it is those kinds of titles that in the past have populated Boomerang -- the cable channel sister of Time Warner's Cartoon Network -- there is no affiliation between Boomerang Media and Boomerang the channel.

Classic Media was purchased in December 2006 for $210 million by Entertainment Rights Group, a U.K. supplier of such family programming as "The Archies, "Fat Albert" and "She-Ra." Ellenbogen and Engelman left Classic Media after the sale closed.

Ellenbogen and Engelman also have served as co-CEOs of Broadway Video Entertainment, a company founded by "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels. Ellenbogen also once was president and CEO of Marvel Entertainment.

"The management and exploitation of intellectual property rights for iconic entertainment franchises is a unique space in which we continue to see a number of intriguing investment opportunities," GTCR vp Eric Sondag said.