Three months after MetLife cut Snoopy and the rest of his Peanuts pals loose, the company that owns the rights to the characters is reportedly putting the gang up for sale.
According to Reuters, debt-strapped brand management company Iconix is exploring a sale of its majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide LLC. That company owns the rights to all the cartoon characters, people familiar with the matter said. Thus far, some Chinese companies and other investors looking to score some U.S. media and licensing assets might be interested.
The company also reportedly wants to unload its Strawberry Shortcake brand, a character many ‘80s kids probably remember as a spunky, fragrant fruit-themed doll and TV character.
Charles Schulz’s Peanuts characters have been licensed in more than 100 countries, and gross about $30 million a year for Iconix, according to Reuters.
Why sell Charlie off now? Iconix — which also has Ed Hardy, Fieldcrest, Mudd, London Fog, Danskin, Candie’s, Mossimo and more under its umbrella — has been struggling under the weight of some major debt, a situation that was not made easier by MetLife’s recent decision to drop the Peanuts characters as mascots.
Source: Consumer Reviews