DHX Media and Sony Music Entertainment Japan (SMEJ) have unveiled an agreement whereby SMEJ will indirectly purchase 49% of DHX Media’s 80% interest in Peanuts for C$237 million (US$185 million. As a result of the deal, DHX Media will own 41% of Peanuts, SMEJ will own 39%, and the family of creator Charles M. Schulz will 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 Inc in Japan. SCP has represented Peanuts since 2010, and is currently spearheading programmes celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Peanuts in Japan.
DHX Media says it intends to use the net proceeds from the transaction to reduce its indebtedness. Commenting more widely on the deal, Michael Donovan, executive chair and CEO of DHX Media, said: “We are honoured to deepen our relationship with SMEJ as we continue our expansion of Peanuts globally,” said “SMEJ has grown the Peanuts business in Japan over 200% 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.”