UK children's firm Chorion has reportedly made an approach to acquire Hit Entertainment's Thomas The Tank Engine property, in a move that could see the iconic train character joining a stable that includes Mr Men.
Apax Partners, the equity firm that owns Hit Entertainment, is looking for US$700m for the Thomas brand, which would include all licensing rights, according to a report in the UK's Telegraph newspaper.
Other groups interested in buying the Thomas brand include Disney and Viacom, the paper added.
The report comes after Hit Entertainment earlier this year wrote off US$500m of its own value, after struggling with debts of more than US$400m and a downturn in the US DVD market. Apax bought Hit Entertainment for £489.4m (US$779.8m) in 2005.
The paper added that smaller groups, such as Entertainment One, are interested in acquiring some of Hit's other assets, which include Bob The Builder and Pingu.
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