Haim Saban, a Los Angeles billionaire, announced this week that his Saban Capital Group and its affiliate Saban Brands was acquiring Costa Mesa-based Paul Frank Industries, a nearly 15-year-old licensing and retail operation.
The deal includes the whimsical Julius the monkey icon that adorns apparel and accessories, and about 150 other characters.
The two companies declined to provide financial details, although the purchase price was reported by the New York Post to be about $50 million.
This was the second major purchase for Saban during the last four months. As part of its quest to bulk up on novel brands, Saban Capital bought back the rights to the kids TV show "Power Rangers" from the Walt Disney Co. in May in a transaction worth about $100 million. Saban Capital has set up a fund of $500 million to make acquisitions.
The Paul Frank Industries' soft characters, which largely appeal to young children and mothers, complement the more potent Power Rangers, said Elie Dekel, president of Saban Brands.