DHX Media and Sony Music Entertainment, Japan (SMEJ) have announced to have entered into a definitive agreement whereby SMEJ will indirectly purchase 49 per cent of DHX Media’s 80 per cent interest in Peanuts for US$185 million, subject to customary working capital adjustments. DHX Media will own 41 per cent of Peanuts, SMEJ will own 39 per cent and the members of the family of Charles M. Schulz will continue to own 20 per cent.
DHX Media and SMEJ have also agreed to extend the duration of the current licensing and syndication agency agreement with SMEJ’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products (SCP) in Japan. A leading intellectual property management company in Japan, SCP has represented Peanuts since 2010, and is currently spearheading multiple licensing programs celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Peanuts’ launch in Japan.
“We are honoured to deepen our relationship with Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally. 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 the coming years,” commented DHX Media CEO and executive chair Michael Donovan.
DHX Media intends to use the net proceeds from the transaction after the payment of transaction costs, to reduce its indebtedness under its term credit facility.
Advised by Deutsche Bank Securities and Canaccord Genuity, DHX Media and SMEJ aim to complete the transaction on or about 30 June 2018. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, required regulatory approvals, applicable third party consents and the execution of certain ancillary agreements. Two of the world’s top entertainment and IP management companies forge global partnership to grow Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang.