Leonard Green-backed Authentic Brands to buy rest of Marilyn Monroe

A flower lays atop the Hollywood Walk of Fame star for the late actress  Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood

Brand management company Authentic Brands Group (ABG) is buying the rest of Marilyn Monroe’s estate that it didn’t already own, said James Salter, the company’s chairman and CEO.

New York-based Authentic Brands will own all of Marilyn Monroe’s intellectual property, which includes her name, image and likeness, Salter said.

Joel Weinshanker, the chairman and founder of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association, is selling his minority stake in Monroe to ABG, Salter told peHUB. Financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close June 1, were not announced.

In December 2010, Authentic Brands and Weinshanker acquired the intellectual property rights to Monroe’s estate. Press reports pegged the sale at $30 million, which gave Authentic a majority stake.

“We will own 100 percent of it,” Salter said. “We will own the estate of Marilyn Monroe.”

Authentic Brands is also in the market for a $465 million loan that will be partly used to fund a dividend to its owners, which include Leonard Green & Partners, Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp said. Salter confirmed the loan would be used to partly fund the Monroe buy and a dividend to ABG’s backers. He would not disclose how big the distribution is.

Salter said the deal with Weinshanker, a frequent ABG partner, is friendly. “We’re happy. Business is good,” he said.

New York-based Authentic is majority owned by Leonard Green. ABG and Weinshanker also own a majority of the intellectual property of Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali. Both were bought in separate transactions. Late last year, Authentic Brands acquired the intellectual property rights of Juicy Couture from Fifth & Pacific Cos for $195 million.

NECA did not return messages for comment.

Photo courtesy of Reuters

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