(Bloomberg) -- Hasbro Inc. Chief Executive Officer Brian Goldner is reuniting with the Power Rangers, the franchise he credits with teaching him how to build kids brands.
Almost two decades ago, Goldner worked for Bandai, which had the master toy license for the hit show, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” The brand, owned by media giant Haim Saban’s firm, proved the power of entertainment to turn a kids brand into a merchandising bonanza. And Goldner has since implemented the foundations of that strategy in reviving Hasbro brands, such as Transformers and My Little Pony, into global hits.
On Tuesday, Hasbro agreed to buy Power Rangers, and several other lesser-known titles, from Saban Properties LLC in a cash and stock deal valued at $522 million. The acquisition comes after longtime friends Goldner and Saban had discussed the brand’s future for years. The first step came in February when Saban gave Hasbro the global master toy license for Power Rangers, and an option to buy the property.
“It’s really exciting to see this come to fruition,” Goldner said of the licensing deal earlier this year. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time.”
Power Rangers gives Hasbro another global brand to expand through content, such as feature-films and gaming. It’s a model that has continued to work for the company, and is much more profitable, than relying on licenses. The property has an estimated $350 million in annual revenue, according to Jefferies LLC.
“It’s entirely possible Power Rangers could be added to the high-margin franchise ranks over the course of the next 2-3 years,” Jefferies analyst Steph Wissink wrote in a research note.
Launched in 1993, the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” is one of the longest running kids’ live-action series in television history with almost 900 episodes produced to date.
“Power Rangers is an iconic brand built on a heritage of great storytelling and merchandising with tremendous upside potential when fully executed across Hasbro’s Brand Blueprint,” Goldner said in a statement Tuesday.
The $22.3 million Hasbro paid Saban for the toy licensing agreement is being credited against the purchase price. Hasbro will pay an additional $229.75 million in cash and will issue $270 million worth of Hasbro common stock, according to the statement.
The purchase includes several other brands, including My Pet Monster, Luna Petunia and Treehouse Detectives, Hasbro and Saban Properties LLC said.
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