Iconix swoops for Peanuts

$175m deal inked for brand and related assets, plus licensing division of United Media.
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Iconix Brand Group has acquired the Peanuts brand from United Features Syndicate and The E W Scripps Company.

The deal - thought to be worth in the region of $175 million - is a partnership with the Schultz family.

As part of the agreement, Iconix will acquire the licensing and character representation business of United Media Licensing, which also handles brands including Dilbert and Fancy Nancy. The division was effectively put up for sale by its parent company back in February, as reported here.

The Peanuts brand and other acquired assets will be purchased through a newly formed subsidiary, which will be 80 per cent owned by Iconix and 20 per cent by the Schultz family.

"We are excited to embark on this transformative deal for our company," said Neil Cole, chairman and CEO of Iconix Brand Group. "The Peanuts brand is iconic, with some of the most beloved and well known characters in history. Peanuts is considered one of the most influential comic strips of all time and, with its 60th anniversary this year, the characters continue to be as popular as ever.

"Owning the Peanuts business moves Iconix well beyond fashion into a true global brand management entity with a wide variety of agreements that range from theme parks to media to financial institutions.

"It also extends our international platform with Peanuts licensed in over 40 countries and approximately two thirds of its revenue coming from outside the US."

On a pro-forma basis, Iconix expects Peanuts to generate $75m in annual royalty revenue.

In December 2009, Iconix revealed it was forming a new subsidiary with popular agency The Licensing Company, called Iconix Europe. Click here for the full story.


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