The “Alvin and the Chipmunks” Franchise Is on Sale for $300 Million

The "Alvin and the Chipmunks" collection has been a family favorite for years, and now its owner is looking to sell it for a hefty price.

Ade Hennis - Author

Nov. 4 2021, Published 11:15 p.m. ET

Alvin and the Chipmunks graphic
Source: Alvin Movies Twitter

The holiday season is approaching, which is usually the time where Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, songs, and TV shows are most popular. However, the franchise might be under new management for the holidays, as the owner is looking to sell the intellectual property of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bagdasarian Productions, the company that owns the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, is looking to sell it for approximately $300 million.

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ViacomCBS is reportedly one of the leading candidates to purchase the franchise, as it has been looking to strengthen the catalog of its streaming services. The Bagdasarian family has entertained the idea of selling the franchise for years but now seems serious about selling it.

Who owns "Alvin and the Chipmunks"?

The Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise is owned by Bagdasarian Productions, a production company based in California. The company is owned by Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., and his wife, Janice Karman, who serves as co-president.

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Source: Alvin Movies Twitter

The company was originally owned by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., and was called "Bagdasarian Film Corporation." His son took over the company and become president in 1972 after his father’s death, changing the name from "Bagdasarian Films" to "Bagdasarian Productions."

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Who is the Bagdasarian family?

The franchise evolved and grew into the global giant it is today with the help of Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., and his wife, but it was Bagdasarian, Sr., who started it all. The father created music records using his voice and sped it up to give it the signature “chipmunk” sound.

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He would go by the name of "David Seville" in the music industry, the name used for the main character of the latest Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, and the role played by famous actor Jason Lee. In 1958, he released the first official record of the Chipmunks, "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)," which was the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 for weeks and is still played around when the holiday season arrives.

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As Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., continued to make hit records, he founded the Bagdasarian Film Corporation in 1961. The Chipmunks were a major hit and expanded outside of music, having their own comic books and, later, their first show, The Alvin Show, from 1961 to 1962. The show helped launch the franchise into TV specials and movie deals until Bagdasarian, Sr., passed away in 1972.

The Ross Bagdasarian, Jr., era helped rejuvenate the franchise

The death of the elder Bagdasarian caused a brief pause in production of Alvin and the Chipmunks until his son took over. After Bagdasarian, Jr., completed law school and became an attorney in 1975, he took the reins of the production company, and with the help of his wife, he picked up where his father left off. The Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise continued to have its own movies, TV shows, specials, record deals, and merchandise deals.


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