Iconix and Schulz family purchase Peanuts rights

Iconix Brand Group has partnered with the heirs of Charles M. Schulz to buy the rights to Peanuts from E.W. Scripps Co.

The $175 million deal is for Scripps' entire United Media Licensing division, which includes Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

However, Peanuts, whose 1,200 licensing agreements generate annual retail sales of more than $2 billion worldwide, represents a majority of United Media's revenue. Iconix will control an 80 percent share of the Peanuts brand.

Iconix, which owns the Candie's and London Fog brands, expects Peanuts to bring in roughly $75 million in annual royalties. The Schulz heirs will receive a portion of that revenue in addition to their minority stake in the partnership.

Peanuts, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, at its peak appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers. Its characters are licensed in about 40 countries by such companies at MetLife, Hallmark, Walgreen and Universal Studios.

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