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Thomas The Tank To Switch Ownership

A leading kids' toy and regular TV and film character is to get a new place to shunt his engine and carriages.
Toy firm Mattel, Inc. has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire HIT Entertainment for $680 million in cash from a consortium led by Apax Partners funds.
HIT Entertainment owns a global portfolio of popular preschool brands, including Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Barney, Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam and Angelina Ballerina.
With more than $180 million of revenues, HIT Entertainment represents one of the largest independent owners of preschool intellectual property.
The HIT Entertainment portfolio also includes a number of other highly popular preschool brands with established television broadcast and licensing relationships around the world.
The acquisition does not include HIT Entertainment's interest in the cable network station, Sprout.
"Mattel is the right home for Thomas & Friends. This powerhouse brand is joining the ranks of such iconic brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price and American Girl," said Robert A. Eckert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mattel.
"Thomas & Friends routinely ranks among the world's leading preschool toys."
HIT Entertainment owns some of the most loved and trusted preschool brands in the world.

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