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Corus Entertainment's Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company Announce Nelvana's Acquisition of World-Renowned Babar Character Brand.

Business/Entertainment Editors


Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company

Enter Into Five-Year Administration Deal

Corus Entertainment's Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company today announced Nelvana's acquisition of all proprietary rights to Babar, the world's most popular elephant. The rights were acquired through The Clifford Ross Company from Laurent de Brunhoff, son of Babar creator Jean de Brunhoff, on behalf of the de Brunhoff family.

The Nelvana acquisition includes 100 percent of all trademarks and copyrights to the Babar property, as well as the de Brunhoff family's financial interests in the brand. The de Brunhoff family has reserved certain publishing rights, which will allow Laurent de Brunhoff to continue publishing his own Babar books with Abrams, Hachette, and other publishers around the world. The Clifford Ross Company will continue to act as Mr. de Brunhoff's literary agency.

The Clifford Ross Company will continue its relationship with Nelvana as joint licensor of Babar Merchandising worldwide. At the same time, the companies have entered into a five-year agreement calling for Nelvana to administer the substantial Babar merchandising program on behalf of both companies.

In signing the agreement, Michael Hirsh, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nelvana, says: "This brand has enormous potential which can now be fully leveraged by Nelvana and The Clifford Ross Company. In France, Babar is among the top two most-recognized children's brands among youngsters under three. The heritage of the Babar portfolio promises longevity in the market."

Nelvana, in association with The Clifford Ross Company, has also produced the Babar TV series and feature films with various co-production partners. The broadcast, home video and theatrical rights to the animated programming have been sold worldwide. One hundred merchandising licensees are presently signed to the property. The world's most popular elephant celebrates his 70th Anniversary this year with celebrations in France and Japan, where the brand continues to perform strongly.

In regard to this major transition, Clifford Ross notes: "It is a very exciting moment in the evolution of a beloved classic. We believe that the consolidation of rights and the streamlining of the merchandising program will lead to more focused support for the program's licensees around the world and greater opportunities for the character in the marketplace. It is a source of pride for both companies that Laurent de Brunhoff and his family have entrusted us to carry on the Babar tradition which they have sustained and enriched since the character's creation in 1931."

Nelvana is a Corus Entertainment Company. Corus Entertainment is one of Canada's leading entertainment companies with operations in radio, specialty, pay, conventional and digital television. It also owns Nelvana Limited, one of the world's largest animation production and distribution companies, specializing in children's and youth programming, related media content and consumer products. Corus is also prominent in the digital music and advertising markets. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) Exchanges. Corus can be reached on its website at

The Clifford Ross Company was formed in 1985 by New York artist Clifford Ross to enable him to explore entertainment and media projects separate from his own artistic endeavors. His artwork is represented in numerous public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is currently represented by the Sonnabend Gallery in New York City. With the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Mr. Ross recently founded the Vaclav Havel Award, to recognize and protect members of the creative community around the world.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 5, 2001
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