The marketing rights for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang are changing hands.
Iconix Brand Group Inc. says it has acquired the "Peanuts" brand and other assets from United Features Syndicate Inc. and E.W. Scripps Co. for about $175 million in partnership with the family of Charles Schulz, who created the comic strip.
The New York-based fashion house said it would buy United Media Licensing, owner of the Peanuts and Dilbert character brands, through a newly formed subsidiary, in which Iconix will hold an 80 percent share and the Schulz family will hold the remaining stake. Iconix, which will fund its share of the acquisition with its existing cash balance, said on a pro-forma basis, the deal is expected to generate about $75 million in royalty revenue and add 12 cents to 15 cents a share to its earnings annually.
Peanuts has more than 1,200 licenses and generates annual retail sales of more than $2 billion. Iconix owns and licenses several consumer brands, including Joe Boxer underwear, Badgley Mischka, Candie's and Mudd. The apparel maker said Tuesday its first quarter profits rose 58 percent. Other characters included in the deal are Dilbert and children's book heroine Fancy Nancy.