Halifax-based DHX Media Ltd. is spending $345 million US to buy the rights to the characters of the Charles Schulz classic Peanuts and to the cartoon series Strawberry Shortcake.

The deal will see DHX buy the entertainment division of Iconix Brand Group Inc., which includes an 80 per cent controlling interest in Peanuts and a 100 per cent interest in Strawberry Shortcake, according to a company news release.

The remaining 20 per cent interest in Peanuts will continue to be held by family members of Schulz, who died in 2000.

DHX already owns numerous children's programs, including Teletubbies, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Inspector Gadget and the Degrassi franchise.

The company owns and produces programming that is licensed to major broadcasters and video streaming services worldwide. It also generates royalties from merchandise based on its children's shows. 

The company has offices in 19 cities and is headquartered in Halifax.

Cartoons have lasting appeal

In a news release, DHX CEO Dana Landry said Peanuts is one of the world's greatest entertainment brands and he was thrilled to welcome the Peanuts characters into the company's family of children's properties. 

Peanuts follows the lives of Charlie Brown, his dog Snoopy and a large cast of other characters as they grow, explore and question the world around them.

Landry said both Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake have widespread, everlasting appeal that make them ideal for streaming services. He expects both properties to drive up DHX's revenue.

The board of directors of DHX Media and Iconix have approved the sale but it still needs to be approved by regulators. 

The deal is expected to close around June 30.