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Muppet Deal Nearing Completion

#1 User is offline   QuickGold 

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 07:42 PM

EISNER NEARS MUPPET RESCUE

By PAUL THARP
May 5, 2003 (New York Post online) -- After a 13-year odyssey to capture Kermit the Frog, Michael Eisner might be ready to cuff him as early as this week.
The Walt Disney chairman is said to be closer to working out a deal to buy the popular Muppets characters for $100 million - $70 million cash and $30 million in assumed debt.

But other buyers are also said to be involved in the talks, and Eisner may not get the deal due to certain terms he hasn't ironed out yet, sources said.

The German owner of Hollywood-based Jim Henson Co. - founded by the late puppeteer - has been trying to sell the company for two years with no takers.



Investment bank Allen & Co., which has recently shopped Henson for as much as $200 million, had no comment on an impending sale. Disney declined comment.

Eisner tried in 1990 to buy the Muppets to expand Disney's kingdom, but he's dragged his feet in this recent effort to buy Henson, said sources familiar with the talks.

So Allen & Co. pulled in at least four other buyers in recent months - agreeing to pay as much as $2 million for their legal fees if they tossed in new bids to put a fire under Eisner.

Insiders say Eisner has been obsessed with the Henson puppets, and was close to buying the lot from Henson himself for $150 million in 1990.

But the deal unraveled after Henson died unexpectedly, and his heirs got into a nasty court fight against Disney, which settled their lawsuit.

"Eisner's doing this project himself; it's a legacy thing, closure for a deal that went bad," said a source familiar with the deal. "He's purging himself of Jim Henson's ghosts."
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Posted 06 May 2003 - 03:06 PM

He better pull it off this time. For the price, Disney can't beat the deal. The income from merchandise alone makes this a great deal. Then add in the future movies and video releases.
Jim

"Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic!!!"
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Posted 07 May 2003 - 11:06 AM

Looks like Disney has missed out...

Quote

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) - Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and their Muppet friends are back home.

Ailing German media group EM.TV & Merchandising AG said on Wednesday it agreed to sell Jim Henson (news) Company, the maker of the Muppets, to the children of their inventor, the late Jim Henson.

Putting an end to a protracted auction that has been going on for years, EM.TV said it would sell its wholly owned subsidiary completely for $89 million. It bought Henson for $680 million at the peak of the stock market bubble in 2000.

EM.TV said the Henson family would pay $78 million in cash for the group, and that EM.TV would receive Henson Company's current liquid assets of $11 million. The group said it would use the proceeds to pay back a $14.3 million loan and to bolster its liquidity.

Shares in EM.TV jumped over 20 percent on the news.

Taking more turns than Miss Piggy's mood, the auction had attracted interest from several media firms, including giant Walt Disney Corp., media investor Haim Saban and a group around investor Dean Valentine.

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#4 User is offline   wishingtree 

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 04:37 PM

This is getting out of hand. $89 Million??? Disney couldn't have beat that???? :lol: Yet they pay way more for the Family channel to show reruns and below par programming.
Jim

"Tact is for people who aren't witty enough to be sarcastic!!!"
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