Sony Acquires Minority Stake in DHX’s Share of Peanuts
Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) has recently acquired a minority stake from DHX Media’s 80 percent interest in Peanuts for $185 million. Once completed, DHX Media’s ownership of the iconic Charles M. Schulz creation would be down to 41 percent while Sony have a 39 percent ownership. Schulz’ estate will continue to own 20 percent of the property. DHX Media is reportedly aiming to use the net proceeds from the transaction to reduce their indebtedness under their term credit facility. The transaction is expected to be completed by June 30.
Part of the deal has DHX and Sony agreeing to extend the duration of the licensing and syndication agency agreement with Sony Creative Products (SCP) for Japan. SCP has been representing the Peanuts property in Japan since 2010, and is currently in charge of multiple licensing programs designed to celebrate 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.”