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TBS Buys Animator Hanna-Barbera Library for $320 Million

October 29, 1991 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) _ Turner Broadcasting System Inc. said today it has reached an agreement to buy animator Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc., the creator of cartoon classics including the Flintstones and Yogi Bear.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is valued at $320 million.

The acquisition includes a library of more than 3,000 half-hours of animated programming and more than 350 animated television series, TV movies and theatrical releases. TBS Chairman Ted Turner called Hanna-Barbera ″the world’s finest animation library.″

With the acquisition, Turner adds to a library for his cable TV networks that already includes the MGM movie archives.

Hanna-Barbera’s chief executive officer, David Kirschner, is expected to continue to develop and create programming for Turner.

The definitive agreement signed today was between Turner, its 50 percent joint-venture partner Apollo Investments Fund L.P., and Great American Communications Co., of which Hanna-Barbera is a wholly owned subsidiary. Under the deal, Turner also gets the production business now operated by Great American and distribution rights to the Hanna-Barbera library.

The purchase price includes $40 million to be paid in the future if certain conditions are met. Those conditions were not immediately disclosed.

Turner also received rights to acquire, under certain conditions, Apollo’s 50 percent interest in the venture.

The cartoon company, based in Hollywood, was founded in 1957 by animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Over the years, they developed such characters as the Jetsons and Scooby Doo.