DHX Media to buy Charles Schulz's iconic children's brands Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake

Canadian media production, distribution and broadcasting company DHX Media yesterday struck a deal to buy Charles Schulz's iconic children's brands ''Peanuts'' and ''Strawberry Shortcake'' for  $345-million from the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group.

The acquisition gives DHX Media an 80-per cent stake in ''Peanuts'' gang, including Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and full control of the ''Strawberry Shortcake'' IP.

The remaining 20-per cent stake in ''Peanuts'' will continue to be held by the Schulz family.

The acquisition of Iconix is expected to close around the end of June, subject to anti-trust scrutiny and other customary closing conditions.

DHX Media expects to generate annual cost synergies of C$5 million within the first year post-closing, and C$25 million within the first five years.

DHX also expects the two brands to increase its consumer products business from 19 per cent to 44 per cent of total annual revenue, with revenue stated to grow 52 per cent to around C$443 million ($323.4 million).

''Peanuts is one of the world's greatest entertainment brands, with a tremendous global legacy of comics, animated content and consumer products reaching back almost 70 years,'' said Dana Landry, CEO of DHX Media.

''We are thrilled by the opportunity to welcome Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the entire Peanuts gang into our family of leading kids' properties, including Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget, Caillou, Degrassi and others,'' she added.

Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M Schulz, said, ''DHX Media feels like a perfect fit for Peanuts. We respect their innovative and rich history with developing children's shows and brands, and we look forward to working with Dana and his team to steward Peanuts in the future.''

Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz, added, ''My father's comic strip and his entire body of work has delighted generations of fans for over 66 years, and we feel confident that DHX Media are the right people to help propel Peanuts into the future.''