The Elf On The Shelf Picks Peanuts as Merchandise Licensing Agent

Peanuts Worldwide has been appointed the merchandise licensing agent for The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition brand. The Elf On The Shelf: A Christmas Tradition tells the story of magical scout elves who are sent to children’s homes to watch children and report to Santa if a child has been naughty or nice. After each elf has returned from reporting at the North Pole, it can be found hiding in a different location. The activity transforms The Elf On The Shelf into a hide-and-seek game.

Each Tradition-in-a-Box comes with a scout elf, a hardbound children’s book, and keepsake box for easy storage. Peanuts Worldwide will develop a global licensing program, for children ages 0-8 years, which will initially focus on social expression, ornaments, stationery, holiday décor, gifts, interactive, confection, apparel, and accessories.

Iconix Completes Peanuts Acquisition

Iconix Brand Group, Inc. has completed the acquisition of the Peanuts brand and related assets of United Media Licensing, a division of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., through a newly formed joint venture company, Peanuts Worldwide, LLC. The new company is 80 percent owned by Iconix and 20 percent owned by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, managed by the Schulz family.

This deal changes the landscape of Iconix and moves the company beyond fashion. Consumer products outside of fashion now represent approximately one-third of the company’s overall revenue.

In addition to Peanuts, Iconix has acquired the licensing and character representation for a number of character brands, including Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

The purchase price for the acquisition was $175 million. Iconix funded its portion of the purchase price with cash on its balance sheet.

United Media Being Sold to Iconix

E.W. Scripps Co. said Tuesday it will sell United Media for $175 million to Joe Boxer owner Iconix Brand Group Inc. The sale of United Media Licensing also means Iconix has a new partnership with the family of the late “Peanuts” creator, Charles Schulz. They’ll receive 20 percent ownership in the unit that owns “Peanuts” and pay that percentage of the sale price. United Media Licensing also represents other character brands such as Dilbert and Fancy Nancy, but the bulk of its licensing business comes from “Peanuts.”

In 2009, revenue of the unit fell 10 percent to nearly $92 million. That figure includes United Media’s syndication operations, which Scripps will still own, meaning it will still syndicate comic strips and editorial features.

Scripps said the cash deal will close by the end of the second quarter.