THE COOKIE JAR GROUP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CINAR Investment Group Headed By Michael Hirsh, Toper Taylor And Steve And Patty Carson Launch The Cookie Jar Company As A New Force In Children's Entertainment & Education
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Montreal/Toronto/Los Angeles (March 25, 2004) - The Cookie Jar Group- a new name in children's entertainment and education - has completed its acquisition of Cinar and brought the company private.
Cookie Jar is the banner for a new global children's marketing, entertainment and education company with divisions engaged in program development and production, licensing and merchandising, international television sales and, through the company's U.S. educational companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning, in educational content and products in the areas of reading, language, mathematics, science, faith-based, ethics, social development, as well as arts and crafts.
Led by principals Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor, Steve and Patty Carson, TD Capital Canadian Private Equity Partners and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), The Cookie Jar Group is a private organization that boasts leading education companies Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning, along with such recognized entertainment brands as Caillou, Arthur and Mona the Vampire through its recent acquisition of Cinar Corporation. The company also maintains a 20% minority interest in Teletoon Canada.
Michael Hirsh is Chief Executive Officer of Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc. the company's entertainment division. Toper Taylor is President and Chief Operating Officer of Cookie Jar Entertainment. Michael Hirsh is also Chief Executive Officer of the company's education division, which includes Carson-Dellosa and HighReach Learning. Steve Carson is President of Carson-Dellosa. Patty Carson is Vice President of Carson-Dellosa. At the same time, the company has announced that Steve and Patty Carson, will join Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor as partners. Carson-Dellosa Publishing and HighReach Learning will continue to operate under their present corporate brands.
The Cookie Jar Company will also actively pursue further corporate acquisitions in the areas of entertainment and educational.
Cookie Jar will make its formal debut at the upcoming MIP-TV market. Representing the company in Cannes, France, will be company officials Hirsh, Taylor, head of distribution Louis Fournier, head of production Lesley Taylor, and head of marketing and licensing Kelly Elwood attending.
"We are delighted to have completed our acquisition of Cinar and look forward to expanding our company with the further acquisition of companies involved in entertainment and education. We are particularly excited about working closely with Steve and Patty Carson who have grown Carson-Dellosa Publishing into the world standard in educational products in all categories. Together with Steve and Patty, Toper Taylor and our management team and staff, we are committed to making Cookie Jar a place the entire educational and entertainment industries will want to play in," said Hirsh.
"Our company is dedicated to enhancing the development of children during their most formative years, with filmmakers that are guided by the desire to bring quality and innovation to our network of friends and programming that entertains, inspires and enlightens children audiences around the globe. Teaming with Cookie Jar's entertainment assets Cinar and Filmfair with its education assets Carson-Dellosa Publishing and HighReach Learning, we will pioneer the edutainment industry around the world," said Taylor.
"This is the moment we have been waiting for and the opportunity we have been working towards," said Steve Carson, President of Carson-Dellosa Publishing. "Michael Hirsh and Toper Taylor have laid out their vision for a dynamic company that will integrate its resources to serve the entertainment, retail, licensing and educational markets in an unprecedented manner."
One of the world's edutainment leaders, The Cookie Jar Group controls such global entertainment assets as Canada's Cinar Entertainment, Britain's Filmfair and education assets including Carson Dellosa and High Reach Learning, both based in The United States. Newly acquired Cinar Entertainment is renown for its productions of Arthur, Caillou, The Busy World of Richard Scarry and Are You Afraid of the Dark. Filmfair is the company that brought the Michael Bond book-based Paddington Bear to life. One of the largest providers of supplemental education materials in the US, Carson-Dellosa reaches nearly 2 million teachers with a wide array of books, classroom decoratives, puzzles and games, toys, science kits, flash cards, manipulatives and more. Through HighReach Learning, over 350,000 preschools and daycare centers receive continuity programs of curriculum and educational supplement products every month.
The Cookie Jar Group develops, produces, distributes and markets quality products to children their caregivers, parents and teachers with a commitment to providing the best in children's published content, animated and live action programming as well as innovative and creative educational and entertainment driven products worldwide.
MEDIA CONTACT: SSA Public Relations Steve Syatt - (818) 501-0700