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Viacom Acquires Rights to Garfield Characters

Viacom said it reached an agreement to acquire Paws Inc., which owns the global rights to the Garfield and U.S. Acres franchises.

The company will use the rights to develop content, consumer products and location-based experiences.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the upcoming weeks.

“Great content is core to the strength of our brands, and Garfield is a beloved character that continues to be part of the cultural zeitgeist with universal resonance across all ages,” said Sarah Levy, chief operating officer of Viacom Media Networks. "The acquisition of Paws, Inc. provides another opportunity for Viacom to leverage our platforms to extend the global reach of iconic IP.”

Created by cartoonist Jim Davis, Garfield is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The franchise has spawned movies, TV shows, stage shows and merchandise.”

Garfield is a global evergreen franchise that is a natural fit with Nickelodeon and our portfolio of iconic properties,” added Pam Kaufman, president of Viacom’s consumer products group. “With fans around the globe that span both kids and adults, we are excited to ignite Garfield into a multi-generational consumer products juggernaut and further deliver on [Viacom's]‘Every Age, Every Aisle’ mission.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.