New deal builds on Sony’s eight-year relationship representing brand in Japan.
DHX Media has confirmed that it has formed a strategic partnership with Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) to grow the Peanuts brand.
The agreement will see SMEJ indirectly purchase 49% of DHX Media’s 80% interest in Peanuts for C$237 million (US$185 million) in cash, subject to customary working capital adjustments.
Pro forma for the transaction, DHX Media will own 41% of Peanuts, SMEJ will own 39% and the members of the family of Charles M. Schulz will continue to own 20%.
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 in Japan.
SCP has represented Peanuts since 2010, and is currently spearheading multiple licensing programmes celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peanuts’ launch in Japan.
DHX Media is planning to use the proceeds to pay down debt and reduce leverage.
Michael Donovan, executive chair and ceo of DHX Media, said: “We are honoured to deepen our relationship with Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally.
“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.”
Michael continued: “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.”