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Media Mogul Saban Acquires Paul Frank

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Los Angeles-based Saban Brands LLC has acquired Costa Mesa-based Paul Frank Industries Inc.

Paul Frank, which designs and licenses clothes and other products, sold for an estimated $50 million to an affiliate of Haim Saban’s Los Angeles-based private equity firm Saban Capital Group Inc.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Saban Brands will be responsible for managing Paul Frank’s business operations and strategy, but plans to keep creative operations in Costa Mesa.

Paul Frank, known for its Julius the Monkey and other cartoon characters, was owned by cofounder and designer Mossimo Giannulli, who came on board in 2007.

Giannulli is expected to stay on to help advise the Costa Mesa headquarters.

The acquisition ends the clothing company’s search for a buyer.

Paul Frank hired New York-based investment bank Guggenheim Partners LLC in June to explore a sale.

Ryan Heuser, chief creative officer, will run the creative operations and report to Elie Dekel, president of Saban Brands.

It marks the second acquisition through a $500 million fund for Saban Brands, which was set up earlier this year to acquire brands and existing franchises.

In May, Saban paid $100 million to buy back “Power Rangers” from Walt Disney Co., which had acquired it in 2001.

Saban Brands recently signed a deal with Viacom Inc.’s Nickelodeon calling for 20 new episodes of Power Rangers along with some 700 older ones.

Saban Brands was said to be on the hunt for additional acquisitions in June, according to reports.

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