Mattel is reportedly close to sealing a £500 million (€364 million) deal for kids TV production and distribution firm Hit Entertainment.
The US toy manufacturer, the biggest in the world, is understood to be about to buy Hit from Apax, which acquired the company for about £500 million in 2005. Market watchers had anticipated Hit raising as much as £1 billion when Apax originally put it on the block, but it looks like only generating half of that amount for the private equity firm.
Apax had considered splitting Hit’s assets, which include Thomas & Friends and Bob the Builder, but the Mattel deal is understood to include all of the company’s intellectual property. It will likely not, however, include its stake in the PBS Kids Sprout, the US cable channel and VOD service owned by Hit, Sesame Workshop, PBS and NBC Universal.