In the latest celebrity rights acquisition, it was announced recently that captial investment firm Hilco Consumer Capital has acquired 50% of House of Marley, LLC, the entity founded by the family of Bob Marley, for an estimated $20 million. The press release visible at http://www.hilcocc.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=140 reports that the new owners will “spend whatever it takes to stop infringements on this business” and estimate that once the market is clear, Bob Marley could represent a billion dollar brand. Hilco has also invested in the intellectual property assets of other valuable businesses that were struggling at retail, such as Sharper Image and Linens ‘n Things (which is not to suggest that House of Marley was struggling in any way, as some of the other recent IP acquisitions reportedly were). One of the key elements in such an acquisition, even if the news reports and press releases do not articulate it, is the Right of Publicity. And as anyone in the licensing business can attest, Bob Marley is an evergreen property with tremendous potential.
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