Earlier this year, CBR reported that the rights to Charles Schulz’s classic characters from his Peanuts newspaper strip, as well as the Strawberry Shortcake brand, were up for sale. Now, it appears that both properties have found a new owner: DHX Media.
According to a press release issued by the brand management company, which also owns Teletubbies and a variety of other children’s TV titles, it is set to pay a total of $345 million through a mixture of cash and financing arrangements for an 80% controlling interest in Peanuts, as well as 100% ownership of Strawberry Shortcake. The remaining 20% interest in Peanuts is still held by the family of Charles Schulz.
The deal is expected to close on or around June 30, 2017.
Peanuts‘ current majority owners, the brand management company Iconix, paid $175 million for its share of Peanuts Worldwide LLC back in 2010.
“Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake have widespread, evergreen appeal that make them ideal for layering onto [a media streaming service] platform, complementing our 450-title library, and significantly increasing our scale in consumer products,” Dana Landry, CEO of DHX Media, said in a press release. “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.”
DHX Media will be keen to exploit their prospective purchases as much as possible going forward, as they attempt to maximize profits from their respective back catalogs and push the brands out into new markets, possibly via its WildBrain network of YouTube channels for its various children’s brands.
What remains unclear at this time are the prospects for any new Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake films or animations.