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DHX Media Ltd., a Halifax-based TV and film producer, has acquired Vancouver children's-show maker Studio B Productions Inc. in a deal worth as much as $20-million.

DHX Media, the parent company of Decode Entertainment and Halifax Film, said Tuesday it agreed to make a cash down payment of $8-million against a total purchase price defined as 4.5 times the average of privately owned Studio B's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in its 2007 and 2008 financial years, up to a maximum of $20-million.

There also are performance-based bonuses payable 30 per cent in cash and 70 per cent in DHX shares.

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Studio B has a production slate of seven shows including "Kid vs. Kat" for YTV, "Ricky Sprocket, Showbiz Boy!" for Teletoon and "Martha Speaks" for WGBH. It runs a 24,000-square foot studio and has a library of about 400 half-hours of children's programs.

DHX said Studio B had unaudited net income of $1.4-million in its 2007 year ended Oct. 31, with assets valued at $15.3-million.

The acquisition gives DHX "several new broadcaster relationships, expanded production capabilities and a greater supply of children's programming ... from which revenues can be generated over multiple platforms."

Studio B co-founders Blair Peters and Chris Bartleman have four-year contracts with DHX to remain as heads of the production subsidiary.



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