Children's licensing and merchandising company adds animation and production arm

Children's entertainment and licensing company Just Group has acquired production and animation facility Optical Image.

Under the terms of the deal Just will pay£850,000 in cash and issue a further£650,000 in shares for Optical Image. A further consideration of up to£1.35 million could become payable depending on future profit levels at the facilities group which has relationships with international broadcaster such as Discovery Channel, Kindernet, RTL and Fox Kids.

Optical Image managing director David Clement said the deal was 'the logical way forward for both companies.' He said: 'The merging of Optical Image and Just Group will strength our positions within the marketplace through the addition of a television production and facilities arm to the expanding publishing and licensing business of Just Group.'

Both companies are rights holders in Jellikins and new pre-school series, Cubeez, which are both airing on GMTV. They also have a number of new series in development including a new Pinky & Perky Show and an animation show based on the The Red Arrows, called Reds Away.

The acquisition comes just weeks after Just concluded a licensing deal with US toy manufacturer Hasbro to create merchandising for its new TV series Butt-Ugly Martians which is due to air on CITV early next year.