We’ve seen a spate of geek merger and acquisition activity recently, and we round it up here.
DHX Media will acquire the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group, which owns an 80% interest in the Peanuts property and 100% of Strawberry Shortcake. The remaining 20% of the Peanuts property will continue to be held by the Schulz family, which got the share in 2010 when Scripps sold its rights to the Peanuts property to Iconix (see “Scripps Sells Peanuts Licensing”). Iconix is making out pretty well on the deal; it acquired its interest in the two properties for $246 million and is now selling them for $345 million.
The assets of POW! Entertainment, founded by Stan Lee, have been acquired by Camsing International Holding, a Hong Kong-based company that deals in licensing, merchandising and sports and entertainment marketing, according to Deadline. Lee will continue as Chief Creative Officer, Camsing will contribute Shane Duffy as CEO, and POW!’s Gil Champion will now be President. Camsing’s goal is to expand its business in Asia using the POW! Intellectual property.
FUNimation has been receiving unsolicited interest from potential acquirers, according to Bloomberg. Among the companies expressing interest have been Comcast’s Universal film division and Sony Pictures. Universal has decided not to proceed, according to the report; the status of the Sony interest is unknown.
FUNimation has annual sales of over $100 million, and has grown over 10% a year since 2013. It partnered with Crunchyroll last year to share properties and split functions in the U.S. market (see “Anime Market Re-Aligns – Crunchyroll and FUNimation Partner”). FUNimation released the hit anime Your Name in U.S. theaters this year (see “U.S. Theatrical Release for Hit Anime ‘Your Name’ Announced”).