Guinness World Records Acquired by Jim Pattison Entertainment Ltd.
February 15, 2008 (London, U.K.) HIT Entertainment Limited and The Jim Pattison Group today announced that Jim Pattison Entertainment Ltd., a subsidiary of the Group, has acquired Guinness World Records from HiT Entertainment. Details of the sale will not be made public.
Guinness World Records (www.guinnessworldrecords.com) is the universally recognized authority on record-breaking achievement. First published in 1955, Guinness World Records has developed its annual book into an international phenomenon published in more than 100 countries and 37 languages. The book has gone on to become a record breaker in its own right, Guinness World RecordsTM is the world’s best ever selling copyright book!
The Jim Pattison Group is Canada’s third largest private company with sales of over $6.3 billion and over 29,000 employees and is a diversified group of operating companies based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada (www.jimpattison.com). Its holdings include Ripley Entertainment Inc. which has held the global rights to develop and operate Guinness World Records museums and attractions for over a decade. There are now six Guinness World Record attractions in four countries, including Tokyo, Japan, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, Hollywood, California, San Antonio, Texas, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the U.S.A., and in Copenhagen, Denmark, with substantial demand around the world for new Guinness World Records attractions.
Announcing the acquisition on behalf of the Group, Jim Pattison Jr., President of Ripley Entertainment, said that: “Guinness World Records is an iconic brand, and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity by HIT Entertainment to add this global leader in world records to our Group. No other enterprise collects, confirms, accredits and presents world record data with the same investment in comprehensiveness and authenticity. The coming together of Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! creates an historic combination of the world-leading authorities on records and record-breaking, and all that is unbelievable.”
Until its sale today, Guinness World Records had been a division of HIT, Entertainment a leading independent producer and distributor of high-quality family programming worldwide. HIT Entertainment, established in 1989, is one of the fastest growing rights-owning companies in the world, and a specialist in children’s character rights. Enjoying a comprehensive distribution network and long-established relationships with the world’s leading broadcasters, HIT Entertainment has amassed one of the world’s most successful libraries of children’s content including the properties Bob the BuilderTM, BarneyTM, Thomas & FriendsTM, PinguTM, Fireman SamTM, and Angelina BallerinaTM.
About Ripley Entertainment Inc.
Ripley Entertainment Inc. (www.ripleys.com) is a leading global attractions company with annual attendance of more than 13 million. In addition to its 60-plus attractions, the Orlando-based company has publishing and broadcast divisions that oversee projects including the globally syndicated Believe It or Not! television show, best-selling books and the popular syndicated cartoon strip, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! that still runs daily in 200 newspapers in 42 countries. There are now 30 Ripley’s Believe It or Not!® Museums (also called Odditoriums), with a new, 25,000 square foot, state-of-the-art museum scheduled to open in London’s iconic Trocadero in August 2008. The unique attractions feature exhibits that one must see to believe – exhibits that are so bizarre, so odd, so strange, that even the most worldly and knowledgeable guests will be awestruck. .
About HIT Entertainment
HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax Partners, is one of the world’s leading independent children’s entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT’s portfolio includes properties, such as BarneyTM, Bob the BuilderTM, Thomas & FriendsTM, PinguTM, Fireman SamTM, Angelina BallerinaTM and Rainbow MagicTM. HIT represents Fifi and the FlowertotsTM in North America and Japan and acts as a worldwide representative for The Jim Henson Company’s library of classic family brands and as representative for The Wiggles® in the UK. Launched in 1989, HIT’s lines of business span television and video production (including studios in the US and the UK), publishing, consumer products licensing and live events. With a catalogue of more than 1,000 hours of young children’s programming, HIT sells its shows to more than 240 countries worldwide, in more than 40 different languages and has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. In 2005, the Company joined Comcast Corporation, PBS and Sesame Workshop to launch PBS KIDS SproutSM, a 24-hour digital cable channel and VOD service for preschoolers. In 2007, HIT and Chellomedia, the European content division of Liberty Global, Inc and its subsidiary ChelloZone, announced a joint venture to launch and distribute JimJam, an international pre-school TV channel (excludes the US, UK and China). For more information, visit www.hitentertainment.com.
The Jim Pattison Group:
Nick Desmarais, Managing Director Legal Services – +1.604.688.6764
Jim Pattison Jr., President – + 1.407.345.8010
Tim O’Brien, Vice President, Communications – +1.615.646.7466
Hit Entertainment Ltd:
Philip Ranger, SVP Corporate & Commercial Communications – +44 207 554 3681
Nicole Price, Director, PR & Communications – +44 207 554 3613