DIC expanded its brand management reach in June with the acquisition of Copyright Promotions Licensing Group. The privately owned licensing and merchandising agency has offices in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.
With the licensing industry growing at such a rapid pace, it was “a very positive move,” says Charles Schnaid, CPA and partner in charge of licensing and royalty services at accounting firm Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.
The industry is “becoming such a necessary methodology for people developing products,” Schnaid says. “This particular program is right in line with DIC’s global expansion, as well as in line with what’s happening in the industry.”
Though he declines to speculate on financial specifics, Schnaid says that having offices in Europe will serve as a springboard for DIC to expand in Africa. And thanks to Copyright Promotions’ established expertise, licensors will be able to reap the benefits of global development, and maintain control.
“It’s always easier to market with people experienced in industry,” Schnaid notes.
Schnaid added that DIC now has an entrance into CPLG’s own significant brand-management stable, which includes DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Sony, Marvel, Viacom and the U.K.’s Football Assn.
While DIC has immediate access to CPLG’s European resources, since the acquisition, the two companies have maintained “a lot of autonomy,” according to Nancy Fowler, DIC’s head of global sales. “People are surprised to hear that,” she says, but “it’s really been business as usual.”
CPLG continues to operate from its London-based headquarters under the leadership of CEO Kirk Bloomgarden.
The firms had already partnered closely for some time, Fowler notes, as CPLG has served as the European licensing agency for DIC properties including Strawberry Shortcake, Classic Trolls and, most recently, McDonald’s.
The formal acquisition, she says — DIC’s first of an international company — just “made strategic sense.”