Prudential Increases Stake in DIC Animation City

DIC Animation City, the Burbank-based parent of cartoon producer DIC Enterprises, said Prudential Insurance Co. raised its stake in DIC by purchasing $14.1 million in equity and by increasing DIC's debt capacity.

Prudential, Bear Stearns & Co. and DIC President Andy Heyward acquired DIC in 1987 from Radio Television Luxembourg through a leveraged buyout financed by Prudential. The size of Prudential's newly enlarged stake in the company was not disclosed.

DIC produces animated children's programming and is responsible for more than 60 hours of programming per week on network, cable and local television. It produces nearly 30% of the networks' upcoming Saturday morning schedule, including such shows as "ALF," "ALF Tales," "Slimer & the Real Ghostbusters" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks." DIC plans to debut four new cable and syndicated series in the fall.

In a statement, Heyward said the children's marketplace is highly competitive, and the new cash and debt would allow DIC to attract top talent and take advantage of new technologies.

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