THR today reports that the licensing company Iconix has reached an agreement to buy United Features Syndicate’s stake in the Peanuts characters and other brands for $175 million. Iconix will acquire UFS’ 80% share, with the remaining 20% retained by the Charles Schulz family.

With $180m in box-office grosses so far, DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg has announced How To Train Your Dragon is the next of the studio’s properties to become franchised, with a film sequel set for 2013, a television series and other events including an arena show planned. After a middling opening, Dragon‘s good reviews has seen it play at the top of the charts for weeks, with Katzenberg calling it “beloved”, and he has similar hopes for this fall’s Megamind and holiday specials for Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.