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Brian Henson Leads Henson Family in Acquisition of the Jim Henson Company

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Brian Henson Leads Henson Family in Acquisition of the Jim Henson Company

Old 05-07-03, 02:16 PM
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Brian Henson Leads Henson Family in Acquisition of the Jim Henson Company

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/030507/75325_1.html

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 7, 2003--Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, today announced that he, his sisters Lisa, Cheryl and Heather, and his brother, John, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Jim Henson Company from EM.TV & Merchandising AG for $78 million in cash. Upon completion of the transaction, all five family members will serve on the company's board of directors, and Brian and Lisa Henson will be actively involved in the company's management.

Brian Henson said, "I am absolutely thrilled that Lisa, Cheryl, John, Heather and I will acquire the company our father founded some 45 years ago. This has been a very challenging period for The Jim Henson Company. But the company has achieved some great things over the past few years, continues to have great assets and, we firmly believe, has great potential. Our commitment, as the Jim Henson Company's new owners and as Jim Henson's children, is to preserve and enhance those assets, fully realize that potential, and thereby honor our father's legacy.

"In the months and years ahead, we will be actively exploring new and expanded strategic relationships to help us continue to carry out the company's mission: making the world a better place by inspiring people to celebrate life," Mr. Henson concluded.

Assets of The Jim Henson Company to be acquired in the transaction announced today include: The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, The Fraggles, The Hoobs, Farscape, and Bear in the Big Blue House. The company's principal operations include: Henson Television, Jim Henson Pictures, Jim Henson Interactive, Jim Henson Home Entertainment, the Henson Recording Studio, and Jim Henson's Creature Shop(TM

Last edited by Londo; 05-07-03 at 02:48 PM.
Old 05-07-03, 02:22 PM
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Does this bode well for those of us dreaming of a Jim Henson's The Storyteller DVD release?
Old 05-07-03, 02:28 PM
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hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... could be!
Old 05-07-03, 02:40 PM
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Isn't this like the third owner of Hensen in the last year or so?

I thought I read EM.TV bought it just a few months ago.


Hopefully this means we're closer to a Muppet Show revival!
Old 05-07-03, 03:04 PM
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Originally posted by Chew
Isn't this like the third owner of Hensen in the last year or so?

I thought I read EM.TV bought it just a few months ago.
EM.TV bought it for $680 million in 2000, and are selling it back for only $89 million. But they've also hurt the Muppet empire by selling peices individually -- the Sesame Street characters are no longer part of the fold...

Henson Family to Buy Back Muppets
Wed May 7,10:26 AM ET

NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and their Muppet friends are homeward bound.

Ailing German media company EM.TV & Merchandising AG said on Wednesday it agreed to sell Jim Henson (news) Co., the producer of the Muppets, to the children of their creator -- the late Jim Henson -- for $89 million.

The deal ends a nearly two-year hunt for a buyer. Among the suitors were Walt Disney Co., children's programming magnate Haim Saban and former TV executive Dean Valentine.

EM.TV bought Henson from the family for $680 million at the peak of the stock market bubble in 2000. It has since sold off pieces of the company, including the Sesame Street characters and its stake in children's network Noggin.

Five Henson siblings would be on the 45-year-old company's board. Two of them, Brian and Lisa Henson, would help manage Henson and its singing, wise-cracking puppets. The brand and its licensing contracts have suffered under EM. TV's management, according to industry insiders, despite the success of a recent made-for-TV Christmas movie.

"We will be actively exploring new and expanded strategic relationships," Brian Henson said in a statement.

EM.TV said the Henson family would pay $78 million in cash for the characters, the TV and motion picture production companies and the special effects unit known as the Creature Shop.

EM.TV, which would keep Henson Co.'s current liquid assets of $11 million, said it would use the proceeds from the sale to pay back a 12.5 million euro ($14.3 million) loan and to improve its cash position.

Shares of EM.TV rose more than 7 percent on the news, trading at 1.05 euros at 1416 GMT.

Just five weeks ago, Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner said at an industry conference that he thought the company was close to a deal for Henson, one it walked away from more than a decade ago.

Disney had been set to buy the Muppets in 1990, but pulled out after Jim Henson, the company's heart and soul, died suddenly.

Goldman Sachs advised the Henson family, and Allen & Co. advised EM.TV. ($1=.8773 euro)
Old 05-07-03, 03:10 PM
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Well, those months just fly by, don't they?
Old 05-07-03, 03:47 PM
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So does Scifi own any part of Farscape now -- what's the difference if Henson Co. owns it now officially. Do they just need to find sponsors/investors to pony up, or is Scifi still in the way of new episodes?
Old 05-07-03, 03:55 PM
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It's just like that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns sells the plant to the Germans, who sell it back at a loss. Don't these people know business?

BTW, don't hope for a Muppet Show revival. Remember, or try to forget, Muppets Tonight.
Old 05-07-03, 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by evitagen
BTW, don't hope for a Muppet Show revival. Remember, or try to forget, Muppets Tonight.
Word.

Or, better yet..that Christmas flick on NBC last year..

Old 05-08-03, 12:03 AM
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muppets rule! i hope they bring it back but i doubt it.
Old 05-08-03, 02:24 AM
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"That Christmas flick" was a huge success for NBC and The Jim Henson Co. At 11 million, it was the highest-rated TV movie NBC had all year... and that came on a Friday night, the night after Thanksgiving," which is typically one of the least-watched nights on TV.

And about a "Muppet Show" revival, there was a pilot at Fox this year called "The New Muppet Show," but it didn't get picked up...

I think this sale is the best thing that could happen to Henson. Supposedly, EM.TV had big plans for the Muppets, but started going broke right after they bought them, so they couldn't do anything but sell parts of the company to pay off their debts. Now maybe the Muppets can get going again, without a huge corporation calling the shots -- back to the way it was in the old days...
Old 05-08-03, 04:22 AM
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Originally posted by fundog11
"That Christmas flick" was a huge success for NBC and The Jim Henson Co. At 11 million, it was the highest-rated TV movie NBC had all year... and that came on a Friday night, the night after Thanksgiving," which is typically one of the least-watched nights on TV.
Quantity does not equal quality.

That said..the Time-Life Collection [along with the first three flicks] get MUCH airplay in my household..
Old 05-08-03, 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by Rogue588
Quantity does not equal quality.
A buddy and I are huge Muppet fans and both enjoyed the movie quite a bit, much better than a lot of the recent big-screen movies.

The lack of Frank Oz and Jim Hensen were painfully obvious, but I think the replacements are coming along nicely.
Old 05-08-03, 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by Chew
A buddy and I are huge Muppet fans and both enjoyed the movie quite a bit, much better than a lot of the recent big-screen movies.

The lack of Frank Oz and Jim Hensen were painfully obvious, but I think the replacements are coming along nicely.
I knew J. Henson was dead, but is Frank Oz gone too? Dead or just retired?
Old 05-08-03, 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Tuan Jim
I knew J. Henson was dead, but is Frank Oz gone too? Dead or just retired?
He's still kicking, I just don't know why he didn't participate. Maybe TV is beneath him now?

I think the voice doing Fozzy and Piggy was still pretty good.

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