Canadian media firm to take 80% stake in Peanuts gang

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 this morning.

DHX Media (TSX:DHX.A) says it 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 youth audiences.

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

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.

There are a few steps before Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy and their friends can join DHX Media, including various regulatory approvals and completion of a financing package.