A group of Paul Hastings lawyers led by David Hernand, chair of the firm’s new office in Century City, California, has helped Saban Properties LLC sell its iconic Power Rangers franchise to toy making giant Hasbro Inc. in a $522 million cash-and-stock deal.
In addition to Saban’s Power Rangers, the transaction also includes other entertainment properties, such as Julius Jr., Luna Petunia, My Pet Monster, Popples and Treehouse Detectives.
The deal was one of the first handled by Paul Hastings’ Century City office since the firm nabbed a high-profile team of entertainment lawyers from Loeb & Loeb in March to set up its second office in the Los Angeles area.
The deal team led by Hernand, who joined Paul Hastings from Cooley in 2014 and now also serves as vice chair of the firm’s corporate group, includes associates Stuart Downey and Trevor Katende in Century City, as well as Ryan Samii in Los Angeles. Paul Hastings antitrust partner C. Scott Hataway and associate Sabin Chung in Washington, D.C., are also advising on the deal, along with tax associate Amy Lawrence in Los Angeles.
Paul Hastings, however, was unable to comment about its work for Saban, a company controlled by Israeli-American investor, philanthropist and television and film producer Haim Saban. The latter, who once paid $250 million to the federal government to settle a tax evasion case, once hired former Loeb & Loeb lawyer David Wardle to head his Saban Films distribution company.
As for Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro, the company did not disclose its outside legal advisers on the deal. Barbara Finigan, Hasbro’s general counsel, did not return a request for comment on the matter. The company’s purchase of assets from Saban should give it a boost amid sliding sales stemming from the bankruptcy last year of key retail outlet Toys “R” Us Inc., which is now liquidating its operations.
“We see significant opportunity for Power Rangers across our entire brand blueprint, including toys and games, consumer products, digital gaming and entertainment, as well as geographically throughout our global retail footprint,” said a statement from Hasbro chairman and CEO Brian Goldner.
Goldner noted that Saban himself, the producer and distributor of Power Rangers, will continue in a consulting role with the brand.
Hasbro has already paid $22.25 million to Saban as part of a Power Rangers master toy license agreement, which is set to begin next year. But the deal agreed upon this week offers Saban another $229.75 million in cash and $270 million worth of Hasbro common stock in return for ownership of the Power Rangers and other entertainment brands.
The acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018, includes all related intellectual property, category rights and content libraries. The deal, presumably with Paul Hastings’ entertainment industry expertise, could eventually result in a new film franchise.