Lawrence Graham, Sidley bag TV programmes sale

Lawrence Graham and Sidley Austin have advised Entertainment Rights on a mandate to take over the US-based owner of cult classics Lassie and The Lone Ranger.

The firms advised Entertainment Rights, a UK-based independent media group specialising in the ownership of children’s programmes and characters, including Postman Pat and Basil Brush, on the $305m (£157.65m) acquisition of Classic Media.

The Lawrence Graham team was led by corporate partner Jeffrey Elway. Sidely, led by partner Jonathan Kaplan, advised on US aspects.

In 2004 Lawrence Graham advised Entertainment Rights on its acquisition of Tell-Tale Productions, the creator of The Tweenies, and more recently on the purchase of the controlling rights of children’s character Rupert the Bear from Express Newspapers.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Latham & Watkins advised the sellers on the US and UK aspects of the deal respectively.

The acquisition is being financed partly through a £71m placing and open offer. Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw’s London office acted for the sponsor and joint underwriters of the placing and open offer.

The acquisition, which was subject to shareholder approval, was wrapped up last Thursday (11 January).