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NPD Group Reports U.S. Toy Industry Sales Grow by Seven Percent in First Half of 2018

NPDThe U.S. toy industry grew its dollar sales by seven percent to $7.9 billion in the first half of this year, according to The NPD Group. Over these six months, which included the beginning and end of the Toys“R”Us liquidation, there were a number of catalysts for growth.

The strongest growth driver in the first half came from toys priced from $5 to $19.99, led by L.O.L Surprise!, Total Marvel, Fingerlings, Hatchimals, and Soft’n Slo Squishes. Read the rest of this entry »

WWE Reports Record Revenue for Q2 2018 Financial Results

WWE_LogoWWE reported financial results for its second quarter, which ended June 30, 2018.

Highlights include a revenue increase of 31 percent to $281.6 million, which was the highest quarterly revenue in WWE history, due to increased monetization of media content. Operating income nearly doubled to $21.2 million from $10.7 million in the quarter in the prior year.

Adjusted OIBDA increased 79 percent to $43.5 million, increasing four percent in the prior year quarter. Net Income increased to $10.0 million as compared to $5.1 million in the prior year quarter. Read the rest of this entry »

DHX Media Closes Sale to Sony of Minority Stake in Peanuts

PeanutsDHX Media closed its previously announced sale of a minority stake in Peanuts to Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (SMEJ). SMEJ has indirectly purchased 49 percent of DHX Media’s 80 percent interest in Peanuts for $235.6 million in cash, subject to certain adjustments contemplated in the original agreement. DHX Media now owns 41 percent of Peanuts, SMEJ owns 39 percent, and the members of the family of Charles M. Schulz retain their 20 percent interest. Read the rest of this entry »

Comcast Drops Bid for Twenty-First Century Fox

Comcast_LogoAccording to CNNMoney, Comcast will drop its pursuit of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (21CF) assets. The withdrawal follows last month’s most recent bid from Disney for $71.3 billion.

Comcast and Disney have been in an ongoing bid war for 21CF assets. Last month, Comcast set a terms of proposal to acquire the businesses that 21CF agreed to sell to Disney in December. The proposal reflected a $65 billion equity, which represented 19 percent of the value of Disney’s all-stock $52.5 billion offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Jim Sachs to Lead Roundtable at Licensing Expo 2016

HarrisSachsLLCJim Sachs, partner in Harris-Sachs, LLC, will lead a roundtable discussion for the second year in a row as a part of the Roundtable Workshops series during the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. It is the world’s largest trade show dedicated to brand, character, entertainment, fashion, and art licensing, and will run from Tuesday, June 21 to Thursday, June 23.

During his session, “In the Trenches” Selling of Licensed Products, Sachs will focus on how to market and sell a licensed product once the manufacturer has taken a license for the product. The discussion will take place Wednesday, June 22 from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST.

Meredith Reports More Than 20 Percent Growth in Fiscal 2015 Earnings Per Share

Meredith Corp. reported fiscal 2015 earnings per share of $3.02, compared to $2.50 in the prior year, a 21 percent increase.

Excluding special items in both years, fiscal 2015 earnings per share were $3.30, compared to $2.80, an 18 percent increase. Fiscal 2015 revenues rose 9 percent to a record $1.6 billion, including 15 percent growth in advertising revenues.

China Tops the 2015 A.T. Kearney Global Retail Development Index

A.T.KearneylogoA.T. Kearney China released a report on June 1, which ranked China as the top country in the Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) for the first time since 2010. China’s retail market is expected to grow to $8 trillion by 2022.

Published since 2001, the GRDI ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide. The Index analyzes 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables to help retailers devise successful global strategies to identify emerging market investment opportunities.

While Asia was an overall region winner, Latin America had three countries in the top 10 (Uruguay No. 2, Chile No. 3, and Brazil No. 8) proving it’s a strong region for retailers despite economic headwinds.

The 2015 GRDI includes a special feature on the prospects for luxury goods in developing markets. The feature includes an analysis of the 15 leading luxury brands and their presence in the GRDI’s top 30 countries. The analysis shows that emerging markets fall into three tiers of luxury development, with different implications for brands looking to enter or expand in these markets.

Click here for the full GRDI report which includes detailed commentary for all 30 countries ranked in the index.

Emerald Expositions to Acquire GLM

Emerald Expositions Inc. has agreed to acquire George Little Management (GLM) from Providence Equity Partners for $335 million, subject to certain adjustments at and after closing.

GLM creates face-to-face buying, selling, and networking platforms for designers, product developers, manufacturers, retailers, and operators through more than 20 leading trade shows. These include four of the largest 100 trade shows in the U.S.

GLM’s trade shows serve industries as diverse as home furnishings, home textiles, stationery and paper products, giftware, tabletop, gourmet housewares, contemporary furniture and interiors, personal care, art and design, and e-commerce. GLM has approximately 130 employees and operates out of six U.S. offices.

The transaction is anticipated to close in January, subject to customary regulatory approvals. The acquisition will be funded with approximately $200 million of debt and a $140 million equity investment from Onex Partners III, which acquired Emerald Expositions in June 2013.

Discovery Communications and Card.com Launch Prepaid Debit Cards

Discovery Communications and Card.com have debuted prepaid Visa and MasterCard debit cards, featuring designs from Discovery Channel series, including MythBusters. These cards are bank-issued, fraud protected, and FDIC-insured debit cards that can be used anywhere. Additionally, a user-friendly online banking experience includes bill pay, cash transfers, and provides transaction history.

Toys “R” Us Withdraws Proposal for IPO

Toys “R” Us has withdrawn its proposal for an initial public offering, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The big-box toy retailer originally filed plans for an IPO on May 28, 2010 with the SEC. The company pulled the IPO on Friday due to “unfavorable market conditions, and the company’s recently announced executive leadership transition,” according to a news release.

The company had postponed its IPO in 2011 due to weak market conditions, and it has continued to struggle with weak sales. Last month, Gerald Storch announced he would step down as the Toys “R” Us CEO and chairman of the board, after joining the company in 2006 following an acquisition by investment group Bain Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Vornado Realty Trust.

On Friday, the company released its fourth quarter and full-year financial results for last year. In the fourth quarter, net sales were $5.8 billion, a decrease of $155 million compared to the prior year. For the full year, net sales were $3.5 billion, a decrease of 2.1 percent versus the prior year, driven by a comparable store net sales decline of 4.5 percent.

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