Haim Saban to invest $500 mil in brands

First deal expected to be announced next week

NEW YORK -- Haim Saban is ready to shell out $500 million-plus to acquire brands in various areas -- from entertainment and celebrity to fashion and the consumer space.

As Hollywood and brands continue to interact ever more closely, his Saban Capital Group has formed Saban Brands LLC to acquire, manage and license properties and consumer brands. A first deal is expected to be announced next week.

Elie Dekel, the former executive vp of Fox Licensing & Merchandising, has been named president of Saban Brands, which will be headquartered in LA.

"The formation of Saban Brands enables us to utilize our extensive experience to create and grow compelling global properties that reach into every aspect of consumers' lives through strategic and far-reaching licensing partnerships," said Saban. "As media and consumer options become increasingly fragmented and proliferated, our underlying thesis is that properties that resonate with consumers today will only become more meaningful over time."

"Saban Brands represents a new approach to brand management and licensing," said Dekel, citing the company's "significant resources and transmedia orientation."