A line-up of Nerd Corps properties.
A line-up of Nerd Corps properties.

The Canadian animation scene became more consolidated today with the news that Halifax-based DHX Media will buy Vancouver-based animation studio Nerd Corps Entertainment for a cash-and-stock deal worth CAD$57 million (US$50 million). The deal is expected to close before Christmas.

The 12-year-old Nerd Corps currently employs around 400 people producing shows like Endangered Species, Kate & Mim-Mim, League of Super Evil, Rated A for Awesome, Slugterra, and Storm Hawks.

The acquisition will double DHX’s staff level in Vancouver from approximately 300 to 700 personnel, making it by far the biggest animation employer in Canada. Nerd Corps has the capacity to produce five shows concurrently.

Nerd Corps execs will play a key role in DHX’s kids’ content development; the studio’s co-founder Asaph “Ace” Fipke will join the DHX content team in the role of chief content officer, kids and family, while Nerd Corps president, Ken Faier, will come on board at DHX Content as senior VP and general manager, kids and family.

The transaction gives DHX access to over 200 half-hours of proprietary children’s content. DHX has been on an acquisition spree over the past couple years, buying Cookie Jar (formerly Cinar) in 2012, which also gave them access to DiC’s library; acquiring the UK-based Teletubbies producer Ragdoll Productions; and more recently, snagging the Disney-affiliated Family Channel in Canada (DHX also owns Canada’s versions of Disney XD and Disney Junior.)

By all accounts, DHX isn’t done yet. “This is indicative of more deals that can come to us,” DHX Media chief executive Dana Landry told the Canadian Press news agency. “We’re really looking for more out there. This is just the beginning.”

DHX, which now owns over 8,000 hours of children’s programming, recently signed a co-operation agreement with Chinese state broadcaster China National Television (CNTV) to develop an online children’s streaming service for that country.

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