Looks like Dave’s has enough of Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and their wild antics because The Chipmunks are up for sale. Okay, okay, not really. But it does turn out Bagdasarian Productions, the current owner of the Alvin and the Chipmunks property, is looking to sell off the franchise for quite the pretty penny.
According to CNBC sources close to Bagdasarian, the production company is currently seeking $300 million for ownership of the three, furry friends. Considering just how hot a commodity pre-existing IPs are in the age of streaming services and cinematic universes (I mean, even Hasbro wants one), the steep asking price actually seems about right, and several interested parties are reportedly already in talks with Bagdasarian, including ViacomCBS.
While the negotiations have been kept private, it feels pretty dang safe to assume there are also a number of other potential buyers that might be on the prowl for the classic children’s franchise. Recently, Netflix has made a huge push towards increasing the amount of children’s content on their streaming service, purchasing the entire catalog of Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) for $700 million back in September. Other steamers, such as CBS’s Paramount+ and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, could be looking to make a similar move — and Alvin and the Chipmunks might not be a bad place to start. In addition, some private equity firms, such as Carlyle, Providence Equity, Apollo Global and Blackstone, have reportedly also expressed interest in acquiring the IP.
Created by Ross Bagdasarian Sr. in 1958, Alvin and the Chipmunks was originally intended as a musical act featuring three animated chipmunks — Alvin, Simon and Theodore — singing with sped-up voices. However, the trio of critters soon became so popular, a TV show and several movies (both animated and live action) were created to quite a bit of success. Most recently there was the 2007 film Alvin and the Chipmunks and its sequels, which still haunt cast member David Cross to this day.
Time to brace yourself if you hate ‘em or celebrate if you simply can’t get enough of the lil’ guys in your life — we could soon see Alvin and friends make a pretty big return sometime soon.