Cookie Jar Ent. will acquire the American Greetings Corp. properties Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears for $195 million. The announcement comes after Cleveland, Ohio-based American Greetings won a temporary restraining order to stop Cookie Jar’s acquisition of licensing partner DIC, which produces animated series based on both classic kids’ franchises. The case was dropped and Cookie Jar was allowed to buy DIC’s stock for $31.5 million, while assuming $42 million in outstanding debt and paying $14 million in transaction fees.
Since being re-introduced in 2002, the Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears properties have generated more than $5 billion combined in retail sales of licensed product. As part of the deal, Cookie Jar will acquire the rights to Sushi Pack, a new animated property created by Studio Espinosa and co-produced by American Greetings and DIC Ent. Additionally, Cookie Jar granted American Greetings a 10-year exclusive inbound licensing agreement for social expression products on all three properties.
In becoming part of the Cookie Jar catalog, Strawberry Shortcake and The Care Bears will join such top-selling properties as Caillou, Arthur, Johnny Test and The Doodlebops. American Greetings will now focus its efforts on further developing the licensing, marketing and promotional programs for its other franchises, which include the greeting card sensation Twisted Whiskers, 80′s gross out favorite Mad Balls, Holly Hobbie, TinPo and its new preschool property, Maryoku Yummy.