DHX Media has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group Inc., which includes both an 80% controlling interest in Peanuts and 100% of Strawberry Shortcake. The remaining 20% interest in Peanuts will continue to be held by members of the family of Charles M. Schulz. The total purchase price for this acquisition is US$345 million, subject to a customary working capital adjustment, to be paid through a combination of cash on hand, new debt financing facility and a private placement offering of subscription receipts ultimately exchangeable for convertible debentures. The transaction is expected to close on or around June 30, 2017.
“Peanuts is one of the world’s greatest entertainment brands, with a tremendous global legacy of comics, animated content and consumer products reaching back almost 70 years,” said Dana Landry, CEO of DHX Media. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to welcome Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the entire Peanuts gang into our family of leading kids’ properties, including Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget, Caillou, Degrassi and others.
Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz, commented: “DHX Media feels like a perfect fit for Peanuts. We respect their innovative and rich history with developing children’s shows and brands, and we look forward to working with Dana and his team to steward Peanuts in the future.”
“Over the past ten years, DHX Media has become a global leader in children’s entertainment content, building scale across production, distribution and consumer products and is perfectly positioned to benefit from the incredible growth of streaming services, worldwide,” Mr. Landry continued. “Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake have widespread, evergreen appeal that make them ideal for layering onto this platform, complementing our 450-title library, and significantly increasing our scale in consumer products. These brands are expected to drive meaningful growth across multiple revenue streams, and we look forward to extending their reach to new generations of kids worldwide.”
Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz, added: “The Schulz family is thrilled to be partnering with DHX Media, as we have been greatly impressed by their professionalism and expertise. My father’s comic strip and his entire body of work has delighted generations of fans for over 66 years, and we feel confident that DHX Media are the right people to help propel Peanuts into the future.”