Iconix Brand Group Looks to Dump Charlie Brown, Good Grief!

Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 31.

Good grief, Charlie Brown has seen better days.

New York City brand management company Iconix Brand Group (ICON) is looking to sell its majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide, which holds the rights to comic strip characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Pig-Pen and the rest of the Peanuts gang, Reuters reported, citing anonymous sources.

Iconix did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares of Icon rose 2.84% to $10.13 early this morning.

The move comes on the heels of MetLife (MET) dumping its long-held Snoopy - plus other Peanuts characters - mascot, who was the face of the insurance company for 30 years.

But, don't fret yet Charlie Brown.

There may be a host of Chinese companies and other investors which are interested in purchasing Peanuts Worldwide from Iconix, according to Reuters.

The "Peanuts" cartoon strip was created by Charles M. Schulz in 1950 and he continued to produce the daily stories until his death in 2000. Now in its 67th year, the comic is published in 2,600 countries and holds more than 700 licensing agreements worldwide.

Meanwhile, Iconix tapped Guggenheim Partners to assist it in selling its Strawberry Shortcake brand as well, sources told Reuters.

On Dec. 30, Iconix sold its Sharper Image brand to ThreeSixty Group for $100 million in cash. The company said at the time that the proceeds would help it pay down $115 million in senior secured debt.

Other brands owned by Iconix include Candie's, Joe Boxer, Mudd, Ed Hardy and Zoo York.

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