Nickelodeon pockets rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for $60 million

MUMBAI: Nickelodeon has acquired the global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc.

The acquisition provides Nickelodeon, global intellectual property rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the television, film and video game property. The aggregate purchase price for the transactions is approximately $60 million.

Nickelodeon also plans to develop a new CG-animated television series based on the franchise, anticipated to premiere in 2012. Additionally, in partnership with Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, a new release of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film is also planned for 2012. Nickelodeon has also acquired all merchandising rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and will continue to work with its toy partner, Playmates Toys.

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences," said Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group president Cyma Zarghami. "We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids."

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property that maintains a very passionate global fan base, is rich with opportunity for a tent pole movie, and is exactly the right property for us to work together with Nickelodeon," said Paramount Pictures president Adam Goodman.

"Mirage has been the proud keeper of the Turtles’ brand since 1984, and in 2009 we celebrated their 25th anniversary with our legions of fans," said Mirage Studios CEO Gary Richardson. "Nickelodeon is a powerhouse global brand, and we are confident that the company will be a wonderful steward for Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and all the other TMNT characters and take them in all kinds of exciting and new creative directions."

"We enjoyed our eight-year partnership with Mirage during which 4Kids and Mirage re-launched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise for a new generation of kids around the world," said 4Kids Entertainment Inc. chairman and CEO Alfred Kahn. "We will also work with Mirage and Viacom so that our Turtles’ licensees can be assured of a seamless transition."

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