DHX buys Wildbrain for $8 million

Michael Polis will continue as animation studio's president

TORONTO -- Canadian kids TV producer DHX Media has acquired Los Angeles-based animation studio Wildbrain Entertainment for $8 million in cash.

Wildbrain president Michael Polis will remain at the company, which is best known for producing "The Ricky Gervais Show" for HBO and the Nick Jr. series "Yo Gabba Gabba!"

Polis will also become executive vp of branded entertainment and consumer products at Halifax-based DHX Media, leading international licensing campaigns.

"In addition to further accelerating our development of co-productions, 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 U.S. and beyond," Polis said in a statement.

DHX Media in 2008 missed a chance to enter Los Angeles TV production when a deal that would have seen Canadian distributor Entertainment One complete a reverse takeover of the kids TV producer and distributor was abandoned.

The Halifax producer subsequently opened a Los Angeles development office led by Charles Bishop.

Wildbrain will fall under the DHX Media corporate umbrella, along with the production units Decode Entertainment, Halifax Film, Studio B Productions; and the TV distribution arm, Decode Enterprises.

DHX Media has offices in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Los Angeles, and a library of around 2,300 half-hours of kids and tween TV properties, including "Franny's Feet" and "dirtgirlworld."