Consumer brand company Iconix Brand Group has taken a majority stake in the Ed Hardy tattoo brand for a total of $62m, including a fee of $55m plus an earn-out sum of $7m.

The acquisition from Nervous Tattoo takes Iconix’ stake from a small minority to 85% of the brand, including the worldwide master licence which encompasses the licensing and marketing functions.

The company, which had an existing joint venture with Don Ed Hardy, estimates that the brand will generate annual royalty revenue of about $15-16m.

Neil Cole, Iconix chairman and CEO, said of the deal: “We are excited to be able to utilise our marketing and licensing expertise to reenergize the Ed Hardy brand.

“The brand has an extremely high level of consumer awareness in the United States as well as very strong international business, and we believe our company will be able to add real value.”

Nervous Tattoo, which will continue as a licensee for Ed Hardy t-shirts, hoodies and hats, will pre-pay $7m in royalties under its licensing agreement.