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Sanrio acquires Mr Men, eyes further deals

Hello Kitty-owner Sanrio is looking to acquire more international kids television characters following its purchase of Chorion’s Mr Men and Little Miss.

The Japanese licensing firm struck a deal for the Mr Men and Little Miss characters with the British kids producer and distributor, which is in the process of being broken up.

Sanrio is looking to expand its Sanrio Global business and reduce its dependence on the Hello Kitty brand, which currently accounts for 80% of its international revenue. Although the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, Sanrio announced in July that it had an acquisition fund of ¥30 billion (US$380 million) to buy new properties.

“We are confident that with Mr Men and Little Miss on our portfolio, we can drive our global license programme to the next stage,” said Sanrio Global chief executive Ray Hatoyama.

Chorion’s portfolio of intellectual properties is being sold off; The World of Beatrix Potter and The Octonauts was sold to former Chorion chairman Lord Alli earlier this year. Other brands owned by Chorion include Noddy, Paddington and Agatha Christie.

Mr Men and Little Miss is a wonderful literary estate with over 80 characters and an international licensing, television and publishing business. We are very pleased to be able to hand over this brand to such a highly respected IP owner with an undisputed track record in growing a truly global licensing brand.  We believe Sanrio is the ideal owner of Mr Men and Little Miss,” said Mary Durkan, managing director, Chorion.