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M&A & Legal

Striker Entertainment strikes a first-look television development deal with Blumhouse Television. Striker will join Blumhouse in developing franchises around existing brands, video games, and consumer products—including a potential film based on indie horror video game Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Adaptive Studios acquires the Zane Grey literary estate. The media venture plans to revive the classic western novelist’s works and brand by developing film, TV, and publishing projects. The Grey estate includes about 133 novels, including several books written by Grey’s son and grandson. Adaptive will own and manage all rights related to Grey’s name and likeness.

Octopus Publishing Group and Tate Publishing enter a licensing agreement in which Octopus will create a licensed publishing program focusing on Tate’s practical art and photography books. Octopus will launch their Tate-branded list in Spring 2019 under the Ilex imprint, publishing approximately eight books a year.

As reported by Promo Marketing Magazine, the decline in sales of licensed Trump-branded merchandise has been dramatic. (Note: Most of the Trump Organization’s gains are earned through licensing marks to residential/commercial properties outside the U.S.) In 2009, the company reported that its licensing partners had sold $215 million worth of Trump-branded goods worldwide. In 2017, Trump’s financial disclosure reported that royalties from licensed merchandise had fallen from $2.4 million to $370,000.

Cookware manufacturer Regal Ware acquires Espro, a company known for its premium coffee and tea presses. The Espro coffee line will become a new division of Regal Ware and join the Saladmaster, Kitchen Fair, and Lifetime cookware brands.

Bon-Ton is being liquidated following a successful bid by a joint venture composed of the holders of the company’s lien notes, Great American Group, and Tiger Capital Group. The retailer field for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this February and was hopeful to emerge under a financial restructuring plan. Bon-Ton operates approximately 260 stores in 24 states in the Northeast and Midwest. Its stores, e-commerce and mobile platforms under the Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers names will remain open throughout the store closing sales.

After nine long years, Gucci and Guess have settled their legal battle over the Guess logo and diamond pattern, putting an end to litigations pending in Italy, France, Australia, and China. Stateside, the matter had already been decided: In 2009, Gucci took Guess to a New York federal court, accusing the brand of counterfeiting, unfair competition, and trademark infringement. In 2012, the fashion company was awarded $4.7 million in damages for Guess’ breach. On the other hand, the EU general court and judgements in Italy and France ruled in favor of Guess on the same claims.


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