Sony Music Entertainment has signed a deal for a 39% stake in Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts, according to Deadline. In a deal estimated to close on June 30, the Sony division has agreed to pay $185 million for 49% of DHX Media's 80% ownership of the Peanuts franchise - the Schulz family continues to retain a 20% concern.
“We are honoured to deepen our relationship with Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally,” said Michael Donovan, Executive Chair and CEO of DHX Media. “Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) has incredible expertise in rights management across the entertainment and consumer products industries, having successfully grown the Peanuts business in Japan over 200% 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 the coming years.”
Since 2010, Sony's consumer products division, Sony Creative Products, has acted as representatives of the Peanuts intellectual property and negotiated several licensing programs.