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Sony Buys Minority Interest in DHX’s Share of ‘Peanuts’

Cash deal will allow the Canadian company to reduce its debt load. 

Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) has bought a minority stake in DHX Media’s share of the Peanuts property.

HALIFAX, CANADA -- Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) has acquired a minority stake in DHX Media’s 80 percent interest in Peanuts for $185 million US.

The completed transaction would see DHX Media own 41 percent of Peanuts, Sony own 39 percent, and the family of Charles M. Schulz will continue to own 20 percent. 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.

DHX and Sony also agreed to extend the duration of the licensing and syndication agency agreement with Sony’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products, in Japan. A leading intellectual property management company in Japan, SCP has represented Peanuts since 2010, and is 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,” 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 percent since they became our agent in 2010,” says Michael Donovan, executive chairman and CEO of DHX Media. “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 Sony aim to complete the transaction on or about June 30.

Source: DHX Media

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.