"We felt it was in the best interest of the Pokemon property for Pokemon USA, Inc., to assume all aspects of licensing," said Akira Chiba, President of Pokemon USA, Inc. "This was a brand management decision. We would like to thank 4Kids for all of its great work over the last eight years in helping to establish Pokemon as one of the leading children's brands in the world."
"4Kids has had a successful eight-year exclusive relationship with the Pokemon property that will be expiring at year end," said Alfred R. Kahn, Chairman and CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. "Over the next month, 4Kids will assist Pokemon USA, Inc., in its transition to in-house representation. We wish Pokemon USA much success going forward."
Under the terms of the expiring Pokemon USA, Inc. - 4Kids representation agreement, 4Kids will continue to receive commissions for the next several years on payments made under existing Pokemon license agreements whose term expires after December 31, 2005. It is expected that commissions earned by 4Kids from the Pokemon property will decline over the course of the next several years. 4Kids will also continue next year to produce the current eighth season of Pokemon television episodes.
About 4Kids Entertainment
Headquartered in New York City with international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global provider of children's entertainment and merchandise licensing. 4Kids, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, provides domestic and international merchandise licensing; television, film, music and home video production and distribution; media planning and buying; product development; and Web site development. For further information, please visit the Company's Web sites at www.4KidsEntertainment.com and www.4Kids.TV.
About Pokemon USA, Inc.,
Pokemon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokemon Company in Japan, manages and oversees the property outside of Asia, which includes licensing, promotions, publication distribution and marketing of the trading card game, an animated TV series, movies, the official Pokemon website, and pokemoncenter.com - an e-commerce site. Pokemon was launched in Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo's Game Boy(R) and has evolved into a global cultural phenomenon. Pokemon was introduced in North America in September of 1998 and has since generated over $25 billion in worldwide retail sales. The trading card game, fueled by organized play programs around the world, has spurred global sales of more than 14 billion cards to date, while the Pokemon animated series on Kids' WB!, now in its eighth season, consistently ranks within the top three shows for boys ages 6-11. For more information, visit www.pokemon.com
The information contained in this press release, other than historical information, consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors beyond the Company's control, including general economic conditions, consumer spending levels, competition from toy companies, motion picture studios and other licensing companies, the uncertainty of public response to the Company's properties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations.