Alvin and the Chipmunks Franchise Reportedly for Sale With a Massive Price Tag

The Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise is reportedly for sale and new ownership of the iconic property comes with a hefty price tag. According to CNBC, Bagdasarian Productions, the current owner of the franchise, is looking to sell for about $300 million. The report also indicates that Bagdasarian Productions owner Ross Bagdasarian Jr. and his wife, Janice Karman, have held talks with a number of potential buyers including ViacomCBS, but have not yet come to an agreement on terms.

Alvin and the Chipmunks were first created by Bagdasarian Jr's father Ross Bagdasarian Sr. for a novelty record in 1958. The group consists of three musical, animated anthropomorphic chipmunks Alvin, Simon, and Theodore who are managed by their adoptive human father, Dave Seville. The characters first appeared on a short-lived animated television series, The Alvin Show, in the early 1960s. The characters would get a second animated television series, Alvin and the Chipmunks, which ran from 1983 to 1990. There have also been a number of music releases, and films, including a theatrical animated film and four live-action theatrical films, the most recent being 2015's Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. A new CGI-animated series, Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks debuted in 2015 and is currently in its fifth season, airing on M6 in France and Nickelodeon in the United States. The series has already been renewed for a sixth and seventh season as well.

Bagdasarian Jr. and Karman have both long been involved with the franchise. In addition to running Bagdasarian Productions, they have both also voiced the characters as well, with Bagdasarian Jr. taking over the voices following his father's death in 1972. The rumored current interest in selling the franchise isn't the first time Bagdasarian Jr. and Karman have explored selling. According to the report, financial firms were engaged roughly four years ago to sell the franchise, but those discussions were ultimately scrapped per the report's sources.

If Bagdasarian Productions does end up selling the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, it will be interesting to see where it lands. Earlier this year, Netflix reportedly acquired Roald Dahl's entire catalog for more than $700 million. Other companies are also reportedly seeking out new intellectual property and franchises in continued efforts to expand offerings for users.

What do you think about the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise potentially being up for sale? Who is your favorite chipmunk? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.