Disney Buys Kaboose for “About” 18.4MM

File this one under “really??”


Yahoo reports that the Walt Disney Company – you know, that Walt Disney Company … the one with the mouse ears and such – just bought Kaboose for 18.4 million dollars. You know – that Kaboose … the one with uh …

… the one with …

i dunno? The one with that ad-riddled FunSchool website for infants and pre-schoolers? The one that had an 80% revenue jump to $21.52 million from 2007 to 2008, and yet claim to be a little cash-strapped when shopping around for site content? Yeah – that Kaboose. ;)

Funschool advertising

Kaboose kids’ site Funschool, with and without ads

(For anyone keeping score, this is the second Canadian kids company in recent memory to have had its accounts stuffed with mouse money. Disney picked up Club Penguin in 2007 for $700 million. g’O Canada!)

i spoke with a few of my colleagues tonight about the buy-out. The question on the table over drinks was “what does this mean?” The answer, after a thoughtful pause, was “… *shrug*. Order me another beer.”

Perhaps my colleagues weren’t in the best position to offer industry analysis. If anyone else has something to say, speak up! i’d love to hear your opinions.

[UPDATE] The sources in my gossip circle claim that this buy-out is Kaboose’s swan song – Disney is merely buying the Kaboose websites, which it will operate from an American office. The Toronto-based Kaboose that we know and (love?) is no more. Keep in mind this is complete conjecture from baseless rumours.

4 thoughts on “Disney Buys Kaboose for “About” 18.4MM

  1. Jeff

    The Disney sale is actually the smaller part of the 120 million dollar deal, the other 97 million dollars coming from “Barclays Private Equity”. Anyways it is always sad to see Canadian companies end up in foreign hands.

    here is a quote from the CEO on the subject.

    “2008 was a difficult year for many businesses and shareholders, and Kaboose was no exception. With the fundamental shift in the sentiment of the capital markets in general and in the media and advertising sectors in particular, and having been approached by several large international media companies and global private equity institutions interested in our business, we felt compelled to re-examine our long-term plan. With the advice of our financial advisors, the Company’s Board of Directors determined that Kaboose could divest its assets and realize significantly greater value than we could deliver as an independent public media company in the foreseeable future.”

    The official release from the TSX



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