THE COOKIE JAR GROUP SECURES TWO CREDIT FACILITIES Financing To Provide Working Capital And Growth Capital For Entertainment And Educational Businesses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Montreal - January 27, 2005 - The Cookie Jar Group (the Group) has secured fixed and revolving credit facilities for both its entertainment and education businesses. The credit facilities will provide these businesses with sufficient capital to implement their strategies and allow for planned growth.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, the Group's development, production and distribution business, secured CAN$ 30.0 million in fixed and revolving debt through RBC Financial Group. The second credit facility, which will be used to finance the operations of Cookie Jar Education, totaled US$ 55.0 million, inclusive of fixed and revolving credit facilities, and was led by RBC Financial Group in conjunction with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and US-based Merrill Lynch Capital, and Wachovia Bank, NA.
"We greatly value our long standing financial partnership with RBC Financial Group, and are pleased by their strong and continued support to our growth in the education and entertainment businesses," commented Michael Hirsh, CEO. "We also welcome our new lending partners who show strong support to our strategy and have contributed greatly to the success of the education financing."
"This financing is a significant milestone to the Group as it provides committed capital which is sufficient to execute our business model and pursue new opportunities as prospects arise," added Scott McCaw, CFO.
"We are very pleased to continue our long-standing and valued relationship with Michael Hirsh in this new venture," said Joanne Gordon, national market manager, Media & Entertainment, RBC Financial Group. "We look forward to partnering with Cookie Jar's strong executive team on both sides of the border to help them achieve their goals well into the future."
The Cookie Jar Group develops, produces, distributes and markets quality products to children, their caregivers, parents and teachers. The Cookie Jar Group's products reflect the company's commitment to providing the best in children's published content, animated and live action programming and innovative educational and entertainment-driven products worldwide. The group of companies consists of Cookie Jar Entertainment, Inc. and Cookie Jar Education, Inc., as well as a 20% interest in Teletoon Canada Inc., Canada's only all animation broadcaster.
Cookie Jar Entertainment, The Cookie Jar Group's entertainment operation, is a leading, global, independent producer, marketer and brand manager of such renowned children's properties as "Arthur" and "Caillou." Combining globally-renowned intellectual properties with an industry-recognized management, Cookie Jar Entertainment is a market-driven, brand building company committed to children first and foremost and dedicated to the development and production of quality programming that embraces the whole child, with animated and live-action series that entertain, inspire and enlighten children and family audiences worldwide.
Cookie Jar Education, the educational arm of The Cookie Jar Group, includes Carson-Dellosa Publishing and HighReach Learning. Carson Dellosa is, one of the largest providers of supplemental education materials in the US, reaching nearly 2 million teachers with a wide array of books, classroom decoratives, puzzles and games, toys, science kits, flash cards, manipulatives and more. HighReach Learning reaches daycare providers and Head Start centers with curriculum as a direct supplier of early childhood materials for children 3 months to seven years of age.
MEDIA CONTACT: SSA Public Relations (For Cookie Jar) Steve Syatt, Todd Beldner - (818) 501-0700