Bain Premieres DIC Entertainment Deal –

Boston-based private equity firm, Bain Capital Inc. last month teamed up with Andy Heyward, the chief executive officer of DIC Entertainment LP to purchase the company’s assets from the Walt Disney Co.

The details of the transaction were not disclosed. However, in a statement to Buyouts, Joe Pretlow, a managing director at Bain, said “Chase Manhattan provided the credit facility for the acquisition, production and acquisition costs post-closing.” He characterized the deal as a partnership with Heyward.

DIC Entertainment, which produces animated programs for children, plans to intensify its production schedule following the split and hopes to provide more diversified programming. The company will continue as a supplier of animated programs to Disney, including several Saturday morning cartoons and two animated home videos.

As a result of the deal, DIC owns the second largest library of American animation in the world with more than 2,500 half-hours of programming, according to a statement.

Bain Capital, seeking to expand its interests in the media industry, was introduced to the DIC management through a mutual business contact. The firm previously invested in more than 15 companies in the telecommunications, broadcasting and media sectors. Pretlow noted the similarities between DIC and Bain’s acquisition of LIVE Entertainment, renamed Artisan Entertainment, as an attractive property of the deal. Artisan was purchased in July 1997 and sold last year for “a sizable profit.” Just as Artisan did, DIC has “a strong library, strong cashflows and potential consolidation in the future,” said Pretlow.

“Bain Capital is continuing to evaluate additional investments in this sector, in particular content and distribution, but also broadcast and media contracts,” said Pretlow.

In preparation for its planned growth, DIC recently announced several changes in mangement and sales. Melissa Bomes was added as an executive vice president of worldwide consumer products and Patricia Ryan will head up DIC’s new sales force following the relaunch of its international sales division.