Harvey Entertainment Co. has sold off the rights to its stable of cartoon characters to Classic Media LLC., a New York company whose investors include Frank Biondi, the former head of Universal Studios, and movie producer Steve Tisch. Classic already owns the rights to Mr Magoo, now it will add Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Little Audrey, Wendy the Witch and hundreds of other Harvey characters. Classic will also acquire Harvey's library of 125 films, 165 TV shows, and 91 vintage Harvey cartoons.
Classic Media originally bid some $30 million for a 57% stake Harvey last August, but the two companies couldn't agree on a final price. Under the terms of the current deal, Classic will pay some $16 million plus debt to acquire the Harvey characters and library. Once the deal is done, Harvey will change its name, because of its long association with those characters that goes back to its comic publishing days. With the departure of the characters and the film library, Harvey's PM Entertainment Film Production and Distribution unit is the company's sole remaining asset of any consequence.