Cookie Jar Entertainment has reached an agreement with American Greetings to acquire its Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears properties for $195 million.
Since being re-introduced in 2002, Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears have generated more than $5 billion combined in retail sales of licensing product.
As part of the deal, Cookie Jar will acquire the rights to Sushi Pack, a new property created by Studio Espinosa and co-produced by American Greetings and DIC Entertainment.
Additionally, Cookie Jar granted American Greetings a ten-year exclusive inbound licensing agreement for social expression products on all three properties.
"When Cookie Jar was founded we wanted to become an international power in children's entertainment programming," said the firm's CEO Michael Hirsh. "We have been filling Cookie Jar with great properties such as Caillou, Arthur, Johnny Test and The Doodlebops. The acquisition of DIC and now Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears makes us the fastest growing independent player in the industry."
AG's Josef Mandelbaum added: "Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears have been synonymous with American Greetings for more than 25 years and are beloved by all. We are very confident that Cookie Jar will be able to take these two properties to new heights. This is a great outcome for our company and shareholders that has allowed us to realise significant value from all of our past efforts in these properties."
Following the sale, American Greetings Properties will continue to develop its licensing, marketing and promotional programs for its other franchises including Twisted Whiskers, Mad Balls, Holly Hobbie, TinPo and new pre-school property Maryoku Yummy.
The acquisition (subject to customary closing conditions) is due to close on September 30th 2008.
The two firms also announced that all litigation involving DIC Entertainment Holdings, the licensing agreement between AG and DIC for Strawberry Shortcake and Cookie Jar's acquisition of DIC has been dismissed.