Sony Music Entertainment has purchased a 49 per cent stake of DHX Media’s 80 per cent interest in Peanuts.
The purchase was made for US$185 million in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments.
DHX Media will retain 41 per cent of Peanuts, Sony Music will own 49 per cent and the members of the family of Charles M Schulz will continue to own 20 per cent.
DHX Media and Sony Music have also agreed to extend the duration of the current licensing and syndication agency agreement with Sony’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products in Japan.
A leading IP management company in Japan, Sony Consumer Products has represented Peanuts since 2010 and is currently spearheading multiple licensing programmes celebrating the 50 anniversary of Peanuts’ launch in Japan.
“We are honoured to deepen our relationship with Sony Music Entertainment as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally,” said Michael Donovan, executive chair and CEO of DHX Media.
“Sony Music Entertainment has incredible expertise in rights management across the entertainment and consumer products industries, having successfully grown the Peanuts business in Japan over 200 per cent since they became our agent in 2010.
“This transaction will allow DHX Media to de-lever our balance sheet as we team up with an ideal partner to help us reach our worldwide growth targets for Peanuts in coming years.”
DHX Media and Sony Music aim to complete the transaction around June 30 this year.