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PEANUTS FOR SALE?

Peanuts Group 3-DReuters reports that the U.S. brand management company Iconix Brand Group Inc is exploring a sale of its majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide LLC, which owns the rights to cartoon strip characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown, according to people familiar with the matter.

Created by Charles Schulz and licensed in over 100 countries, the characters generate about $30 million in 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, the source added. They declined to comment on the expected deal valuation — and they cautioned that there was no certainty that any deal at all would occur. So why report this?

Because if true, it means big bucks for someone.

In 2015, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc released “The Peanuts Movie,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe award and grossed $246 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo (quoted by Reuters), a website that tracks the revenue that movies generate. Iconix logoPeanuts' largest international market is Japan, where a new Snoopy museum opened last year.

Iconix, which also owns clothing brand Joe Boxer and outdoor wear brand London Fog, purchased an 80 percent stake in Peanuts in 2010 from U.S. media company E.W. Scripps Co in a deal valued at $175 million. The remaining 20 percent is owned by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, which is controlled by the Schulz family.

But if “sources” aren’t prepared to vouch for the veracity of their own rumors, we can safely disregard this whole blurb.           

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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