Joe Boxer Owner Buys Peanuts

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Today E.W. Scripps Co. announced that it will sell the unit that owns the licensing rights to Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang for $175 million to Joe Boxer owner Iconix Brand Group Inc.  Iconix will receive 20 percent ownership and go into a 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.

Scripps first brought the Peanuts strip to market in 1950.  When Schulz retired in 1999, Peanuts was in more than 2,600 papers.  Schulz passed away in February 2000.

“The Peanuts characters have been our entertaining co-workers and the Schulz family has been our trusted partner for nearly 60 years. But this is the right move for all involved as we go our separate ways in recognition of changing times and new strategies,” said Scripps CEO Rich Boehne.

Iconix CEO Neil Cole said the purchase moves the company away from being one focused solely on fashion into new realms that include theme parks, media and financial institutions.

The family was heartened by the sale, said Charles Schulz’ son, Craig Schulz.

“Peanuts now has the best of both worlds,” he said. “Family ownership and the vision and resources of Iconix to perpetuate what my father created throughout the next century with all the goodwill his lovable characters bring.”