BUSINESS

Canada's DHX Media Buys 'Peanuts' Gang In $345-Million Deal

05/10/2017 12:40 EDT | Updated 05/10/2017 12:40 EDT

HALIFAX — The Peanuts gang of cartoon characters created by Charles Schulz is getting a new home at a Halifax-based entertainment company under a US$345-million deal announced Wednesday.

DHX Media will add the Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake brands to its other properties, which include rights to the Teletubbies, Inspector Gadget, Degrassi and other programming for children and young audiences.

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The agreement has the blessing of Schulz's widow, whose family will continue to have a 20 per cent share of the rights to the Peanuts cartoon and animation franchise.

"DHX Media feels like a perfect fit for Peanuts,'' Jean Schulz said in a joint statement issued by the company.

The proposed deal has been approved by the boards of DHX Media and Iconix Brand Group, which owns 80 per cent of the Peanuts brand and 100 per cent of the Strawberry Shortcake brand.

Before Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy and their friends can join DHX Media, the agreement also requires various regulatory approvals and completion of a financing package.

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DHX has hired RBC Capital Markets and Jefferies Finance to provide a fully underwritten debt financing covering the purchase price and refinance substantially all of the company's debt.

The company — which operates specialty television channels in Canada in addition to managing global sales of its programming library — also announced Wednesday that its third-quarter revenue and profit were lower than last year.

Revenue fell seven per cent to $78 million and net income dropped 25 per cent to $7.6 million, but were within analyst estimates.

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