DHX to Purchase Peanuts, Strawberry Shortcake


DHX Media has inked a deal to acquire the entertainment arm of Iconix Brand Group, which includes an 80 percent controlling stake in Peanuts and 100 percent of Strawberry Shortcake.

The remaining 20 percent interest in Peanuts will continue to be held by the relatives of creator Charles M. Schulz. The total purchase price for the acquisition is $345 million, with the transaction expected to be finalized by the end of next month. The agreement adds 340 half-hours of proprietary content to DHX Media’s catalog.

Peanuts is the eighth largest retail character brand in the world, with the number one ranked prime-time TV specials and 14 million social media fans. The property generated $1.3 billion in retail sales in 2015. It has more than 195 half-hours of existing content and 1,100-plus licensees in over 100 territories.

Strawberry Shortcake, for which there is a new show in development, has 148 half-hours of existing content distributed in 120-plus territories, with a comic book series released in May 2016. The brand has more than 305 licensees in 90 countries, and has earned $4 billion in global retail sales since its launch.

“Peanuts is one of the world’s greatest entertainment brands, with a tremendous global legacy of comics, animated content and consumer products reaching back almost 70 years,” said Dana Landry, the CEO of DHX Media. “We are thrilled by the opportunity to welcome Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the entire Peanuts gang into our family of leading kids’ properties, including Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget, Caillou, Degrassi and others.”

Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz, noted: “DHX Media feels like a perfect fit for Peanuts. We respect their innovative and rich history with developing children’s shows and brands, and we look forward to working with Dana and his team to steward Peanuts in the future.”

“Over the past ten years DHX Media has become a global leader in children’s entertainment content, building scale across production, distribution and consumer products, and is perfectly positioned to benefit from the incredible growth of streaming services worldwide,” continued Landry. “Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake have widespread, evergreen appeal that make them ideal for layering onto this platform, complementing our 450-title library and significantly increasing our scale in consumer products. These brands are expected to drive meaningful growth across multiple revenue streams, and we look forward to extending their reach to new generations of kids worldwide.”

Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz, added: “The Schulz family is thrilled to be partnering with DHX Media, as we have been greatly impressed by their professionalism and expertise. My father’s comic strip and his entire body of work has delighted generations of fans for over 66 years, and we feel confident that DHX Media are the right people to help propel Peanuts into the future.”