Inside Licensing News and Notes, July 12, 2018

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BuzzFeed Extending Tasty Brand to International Markets

BuzzFeed is extending the Tasty brand to international  markets for the first time in hiring agents for EMEA (Licensing Matters), Australia (Haven), Mexico (La Panaderia), Spanish-speaking Latin America (Lotus Global Latam) and Brazil (Lotus Global Brasil).  The agents will seek deals for kitchenware, publishing and food.

As part of the international push, Tasty  developed a series of brands targeting specific markets such as Tasty Bien and Miam (France); Tasty Einfach (Germany); Tasty Japan and Tasty Demais (Portuguese). International markets account for more than half of Tasty’s 540 million monthly active users, says BuzzFeed’s Eric Karp.

Meanwhile, a U.S. department store chain will launch a collection of Buzzfeed’s Goodful brand products in late September supplied by Epoca International (cookware, bakeware and kitchen utensils), Welspun (bedding, towels) and Conair Corp. (blenders, air fryers). Karp declined to identify the retailer. Goodful,largely focused on healthy food and wellness videos and mostly viewed on Facebook, has amassed about 20 million followers since launching in September 2016.

BuzzFeed made a major push in licensing earlier this year with the introduction of Epoca’s Tasty non-electric cookware, bakeware and gadgets at Walmart, which has an indefinite exclusive on the products, says Karp. Conair is expected to introduce Tasty kitchen small electric appliances late this year.

Contact:

BuzzFeed, Eric Karp, Head of Licensing, 914-486-1285, eric.karp@buzzfeed.com

Dave & Busters’ ‘Jurassic World VR Expedition’ Said To Be Generating Strong Sales

Dave & Buster’s “Jurassic World VR Expedition” game has registered strong consumer demand, benefitting from the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in June, says SunTrust analyst Jake Bartlett in a research note to clients. While Dave & Buster’s initially planned to have the game available only at night and on weekends, the chain has extended availability to the entire day, says Bartlett. Dave & Buster’s, which operates 112 restaurants/arcades, said it plans to add a second VR title by year-end, and that 15 high-volume locations will have two systems. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has generated $304 million in box office revenue in the U.S. since its release on June 22.

Contact:

Dave & Buster’s, Stephen King, CEO, stephen.king@daveandbusters.com

Perry Ellis Board Backs Founder’s Bid to Take Company Private

Perry Ellis International’s board is backing the company founder’s bid to take the company private, spurning a rival offer from Randa Associates. While Randa Accessories’ $28-per-share offer is higher than founder George Feldenkreis’ $27.50 bid, it isn’t in the best interests of shareholders and was similar to one made when the company went through its strategic review earlier this year, Perry Ellis said in a statement. Randa on Monday called for direct communication with the apparel company, criticizing it for issuing a news release rather than “engaging directly.” Randa’s counterproposal came less than a month after Perry Ellis agreed to Feldenkreis’ offer to take the company private in a deal valued at $434 million. Randa’s bid values Perry Ellis at $444 million. Under the proposed acquisition, Feldenkreis, who was ousted as executive chairman last fall, would be active in the company’s management, while his son, Oscar, remains CEO. Feldenkreis, who along with his son own almost 18% of Perry Ellis, first made an offer for the company in February.

Contact:

Perry Ellis International, Jorge Narino, Interim Chief Financial Officer, 305-592-2830, Jorge.narino@pery.com

Randa Accessories, Jeffrey Spiegel, CEO, 212-768-8800

Funai Renews Philips/Magnavox Licensing Pact

Funai renewed its long-running licensing agreement with Royal Philips to market products under the Philips and Magnavox brands. The new five-year pact extends a licensing deal first signed in 2008 under which Funai sells Philips Blu-ray and DVD players and TVs and Magnavox sound bars in North America. The agreement was set to expire late this year. Separately, Philips also recently transferred licensing rights for the Philips brand for headphones, Bluetooth speakers and cordless phones to Chinese consumer electronics supplier TPV. Philips sold its consumer electronics business, including licensing rights for North America, to Gibson Brands in 2014. The guitar maker filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and shut down that business.

Contacts:

Funai North America, Ryo Fukuda, President-Chief Operating Officer, 201-727-4560

Philips, Andy Mintz, Head of Global Licensing, 404-307-3380, andy.mintz@philips.com

 

Blue Apron Readying Bob’s Burger Meal Kits

Meal kit supplier Blue Apron will be serving up new licensed meals after signing with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products for recipes based on the Bob’s Burgers series. The recipes, designed by Chef Alvin Cailan of the Eggslut restaurant in Los Angeles, will start with “Quantum of Salsa Burger” and “Gouda Wife Burger” which will be available to Blue Apron customers on July 23 and Aug. 20, respectively. A third recipe, “The Absentee Shallot Burger,” will be available the week of Sept. 17 and be featured in the first episode of the show’s ninth season in late September. Blue Apron also is developing limited edition Bob’s Burgers aprons with kitchen workwear supplier Hedley & Bennett. For Blue Apron, which had 786,000 customers as of March 31, the agreement with Fox is its second licensing agreement. It signed a deal with Endemol Shine North America last year for MasterChef and MasterChef Junior meal kits that were based on recipes from the cooking competition shows.

Contacts:

20th Century Fox Consumer Products, Jim Fielding, Consumer Products Pres., 310-369-3900, jim.fielding@fox.com

Blue Apron, Jared Cluff, Chief Marketing Officer, 718-635-2970

Endemol Shine North America, Tamaya Petteway, SVP Integration and Partnerships, 310-860-9914, tamaya.petteway@endemolshine.com

Agencies

Bulldog Licensing (UK and Ireland) and J&M Brands (Benelux) appointed to represent Sesame Workshop as the studio prepares to mark its 50th anniversary in 2019… Block 12 is handling licensing for Simon’s Cat in China and will seek deals in toys, apparel, publishing and mall events. Simon’s Cat, a YouTube series created by British animator Simon Tofield that debuted in 2008, has expanded its reach in licensing since Endemol Shine acquired a stake in the brand in 2015.

Contacts:

Bulldog Licensing, Rob Corney, Group Managing Dir., +44 20 8325 5455, robc@bulldog-licensing.com

Endemol Shine China, William Tan, Managing Dir., +44 870 333 1700