DHX Media has entered into a strategic partnership with Sony Music Entertainment Japan that will see Sony indirectly purchase 49 percent of DHX’s 80 percent stake in Peanuts.
The transaction is valued at $185 million in cash.
Following the deal, DHX Media will own 41 percent of Peanuts, SMEJ will retain 39 percent and the family of Charles M. Schulz will continue to own 20%.
In addition, DHX Media and SMEJ have agreed to extend their licensing and syndication agency agreement with Sony Creative Products, the consumer products arm of SMEJ.
Sony Creative Products has represented the peanuts property since 2010 and currently oversee various licensing programs that celebrate of the 50th anniversary of Peanuts’ launch in Japan.
“We are honored to deepen our relationship with Sony Music Entertainment Japan as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally,” says Michael Donovan, executive chair and chief executive officer, 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 more than 200 percent 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.”
DHX Media and SMEJ expect to complete the transaction around Jun. 30.