Hong Kong Meisheng Culture Company (Meisheng) has taken a US$19.3-million equity stake in California-based toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific.
In February, Meisheng acquired 1,387,647 shares of Jakks’ common stock in open market transactions. Today, the toymaker agreed to sell 3,660,891 million shares to the Chinese venture. The deal is subject to approval by shareholders of Meisheng’s parent company, Meisheng Culture & Creative Corp., as well as Meisheng’s regulatory filings in China.
According to Jakks, the agreement is expected to strengthen the relationship between the two companies, which are already joint-venture partners in two other companies. (One distributes Jakks products in China, while the other develops new animation content owned by Jakks and Meisheng.)
Additionally, Meisheng Culture & Creative Corp. has acted as a manufacturer for Jakks for several years.
Once the share purchase is closed, Xiaoqiang Zhao—executive director of Meisheng and chairman of the board of its parent company—will join Jakks’ board of directors. Zhao will also serve as chair of a specially created committee aimed at commercial development in the greater China region.
The announcement comes a week after Jakks renewed its licensing agreement with Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) in China in an effort to open new distribution channels and expand its online sales footprint in the region. This expanded deal will see Jakks continue to hold merch rights to several Mouse House entertainment properties in the region, including Disney Princess and Disney Frozen (pictured).