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Roundup: M&A & Legal

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Spanish soccer league LaLiga and Relevent, a multinational media, sports and entertainment group, craft a 15 year-long, equal joint venture to promote soccer in the U.S. and Canada. LaLiga will bring the first regular season clubs match to the U.S., dubbed LaLiga North America.

LaLiga North America is LaLiga’s exclusive representative in the U.S. and Canada for all business and development activities. The operation supports the soccer league’s growth through youth academies, development of youth soccer coaches, marketing agreements, consumer activations, exhibition matches, and plans to have an official LaLiga Santander match played in the U.S.

Advent Intl., owner of the Serta and Beautyrest brands, as well as THL Partners are apparently interested in acquiring Mattress Firm, according to a New York Post report. The Mattress Firm is “teetering on the edge of bankruptcy” and a sale may come as part of a pre-packaged bankruptcy deal.

Hasbro and DC Comics settle a trademark lawsuit over the term “Bumblebee” in which the toyco sought to block sales of a Mattel-manufactured toy based on the DC Super Hero Girls character Bumblebee, a black teen whose battle suit helps her project supersonic blasts, shrink, and fly. Hasbro argued that consumer might confuse the toy with its Transformers yellow Autobot who is getting his own spin-off film from Paramount on Dec. 21. DC Comics revived its character, originally introduced in a 1977 Teen Titans comic, in 2015. Mattel and Lego began selling branded action figures and construction toys the same year. In contrast, Hasbro introduced its Bumblebee character in 1983 and obtained a trademark on the name in 2015.

Steve Jackson Games invites outside creators to contribute adventures and content to its The Fantasy Trip (TFT) roleplaying game via a limited publishing agreement being offered in 2019. According to ICv2, the agreement is similar ones used by Wizards of the Coast to allow third-party publishers to produce material for specific editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Under this specific TFT license, writers and illustrators will be able to create original PDFs using TFT game mechanics—including adventures, area writeups and histories, creatures, and characters—to sell on Steve Jackson Games’ ecommerce site. Creators will earn royalties works sold under an official “Compatible with The Fantasy Trip” logo.

Thunderbird Entertainment is going public via a reverse take-over by Golden Secret Ventures. The combined entity will be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange when the transaction closes by Oct. 1. The company reports that Thunderbird generated revenues of $100 million, net income of $2.8 million and adjusted EBITDA of $6.4 million for the 9 months ending March 31, 2018.

Bongo House, the comics licensee behind the The Simpsons and Spongebob Comics, is expected to close as its two flagship titles end or take an “extended break,” respectively, and Bongo’s co-founder and creative director, Bill Morrison, moves on to helm MAD Magazine.

The Wasserstein family is exploring a sale of New York Magazine, according to the Wall Street Journal. The magazine was was purchased for $55 million via New York Media in 2004. New York Media also owns various web properties drawing 35 million unique visitors including The Strategist, entertainment news website Vulture, food and restaurant site Grubstreet, tech purveyor SelectAll, and fashion website The Cuts. The company also merged Splitsider, a comedy site that launched in 2010, into


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