The rights to Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty and the rest of Charles Schulz's iconic "Peanuts" characters may soon have a new owner.
According to a report from Reuters, brand management company Iconix is "exploring a sale of its majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide LLC, which owns the rights to cartoon strip characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown."
Reuters reports that Iconix, which is also aiming to sell its ownership of the "Strawberry Shortcake" brand, is struggling under pressure from debt, a problem made worse by insurer MetLife's recent decision to stop using "Peanuts" as their company's mascots.
However, while Iconix is said to be looking to auction off some of its brands, there is "no certainty that any deal would occur."
In 2010, Iconix paid $175 million for an 80% stake in "Peanuts." As Reuters notes, the "Peanuts" characters "generate about $30 million in 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization."
While no current valuation of the brand's worth was included in the report, it's a sure thing that Charles Schulz's creations, which have been licensed in over 100 countries, will fetch significantly more than peanuts should they change ownership in 2017.