Charlie Brown and the gang are changing hands.
The Iconix Brand Group, in conjunction with the family of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, has acquired the United Media Licensing business and the Peanuts brand from United Features Syndicate and E.W. Scripps for $175 million.
The deal also includes the Dilbert and Fancy Nancy brands, and gives Iconix ‘ until now a fashion brand company ‘ its first character brands.
“Owning the Peanuts business moves Iconix well beyond fashion into a true global brand management entity with a wide variety of agreements that range from theme parks to media to financial institutions,” says Neil Cole, chairman and CEO of Iconix Brand Group. “Further, we believe Peanuts’ large global footprint and broad licensing relationships will also open up new doors for our existing portfolio of brands and future acquisitions. We are equally excited to have the Schulz family as our partners and believe their passion and insight will be invaluable to the future success of the Peanuts brand.”
Peanuts was created as a comic strip by Schulz in 1950 and has been a part of United Media ever since. The comic strip is one of the most successful in history, spawning an empire of merchandising, licensing and animation. In 2009, Peanuts generated $2.1 billion in sales of licensed merchandise, according to License! Global.
Pending the transaction, E.W. Scripps will continue to own United Media’s syndication business. The deal is expected to close by the end of the second quarter.