The Sharper Image, once a popular high-end retailer, now has a new owner. Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ: ICON), which controls a variety of apparel brands, sold the brand and its associated intellectual property to privately held consumer-products conglomerate ThreeSixty Group for $100 million in cash.

Iconix said it anticipates recording a gain with the sale, although it did not specify an amount. It said it will use the proceeds, combined with other cash resources, to retire roughly $115 million in debt.

In its press release announcing the transaction, Iconix CEO John Haugh  said: "Sharper Image did not fit into our go-forward strategy. After careful consideration, we determined that we could better leverage our resources and generate greater returns by focusing on other areas of the business."

Iconix owns, licenses, and promotes a sprawling portfolio of brands ranging from the familiar to the obscure. Among the properties it controls are Ocean Pacific, London Fog, and Umbro. It also holds interests in brands such as Ed Hardy, and apparel derived from the Peanuts cartoon strip.

The Sharper Image, founded in 1977, rose to prominence on the back of aggressive catalog marketing in the 1980s and 1990s.  It carried a wide range of electronic gadgets, home decor products, and other goods. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and was bought by Iconix in 2011 for around $65.6 million in cash. 

ThreeSixty, which recently bought fabled toy retailer FAO Schwartz from privately held Toys 'R' Us, is no stranger to the Sharper Image -- it has been licensing the brand since 2008.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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