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Financing Issues Frustrate Henson-Valentine Deal

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    I just read what Jim said, and while IMO i think there is some accuracy, on the whole i think his 'inside info' is WAY off. For a start i don't believe negotiations with Disney were so far that the Henson and Disney press offices were discussing where to hold the press conference to announce the sale - thats just plain kooky.

    However this time around he's saying that EMTV changed the terms of the deal at the last minute and i don't believe thats true either - as far as i knew the companies were free to pitch whatever they liked and the ones that couldn't get the financing for 100% were pitching for part ownership deals. I agree with him that Disney wouldn't have gone for part ownership but i also don't think there was any dramatic dropping of their bid - it just wasn't happening - i know there were some media reports but then they aren't always entirely accurate or just a result of some strategic leaking of info. In any case - how on earth does he suppose Disney goes from being interested and negotiating 'in' on the bidding one minute, to a practically completed deal the next ? Just doesn't make sense at all that. I think he's right that Disney dropped their interest because they would have heard hints that EMTV preferred a co-ownership deal because the company was selling for such a low price and also they'd probably have a good idea of what Valentine was proposing, but i also think they'd have been hesitant from the 'get go' to get involved with EMTV and their messy deals - the Haffa trial will be getting EMTV a lot of bad press this year. I just think most big companies want to stay away from the German media right now - it's too fragile.

    The other thing i've gotta laugh about is when he says the smart money has always been on Valentine getting the Muppets and taking them back to Disney and co-producing videos and maybe theme park rides. Ummm - hasn't he been saying for ages that the Mouse was gonna be the ones to clinch the deal ? Wierd !

    It's true what he says about the Valentine/Disney connections obviously and if they did need a co-producer then they might knock on Disney's door but with Valentine moving in at Henson rather than the Muppets being incorporated into some licensing company he doesn't actually need a co-production deal, Henson have a sound stage in the UK and studio space in Hollywood - all they need to do is negotiate the distribution deals and Valentine would be more than experienced to do that - it'd be nice maybe to see them work with Disney though. This is exactly the same situation you would have had, and he would have said if it had been Saban though - it's nothing new and definitely nothing solid.

    So yeah it's a smart move for both Disney and EMTV. Disney wouldn't have worked well with EMTV, and by paying off the 'Junior Loan' AND retaining 50.1% in Henson they stand to profit from the future stuff if the Muppets take off under the new owners. There's still all the anniversary money to come in, and maybe a large sum of money from Sesame Workshop. It's way better than making such a loss on selling 100% for $80 million and saying goodbye to future profits. However, i think if Disney were to have offered $130 Million rather than the $80 Million that other companies were looking to offer they wouldn't have exactly been stopped from bidding ! :rolleyes:

    So yeah IMO there's some elements of accuracy and truth in it from what i've heard, but he still has to find ways to cover up all the really innacurate stuff he's told or re-told in previous articles so thats been woven into it all as if he was never wrong in the first place.
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    It's like I said. Disney's been silently perched high above all of this like a cartoon vulture. They aint going anywhere. They are just waiting. They have the time...
  3. sidcrowe

    sidcrowe New Member

    ...and the money.
  4. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Hehe, yesss. I rather fancy that approach.
  5. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    I agree that they'll be involved with the Muppets at some point in the future but i just doubt right now - they won't want to be seen as playing second fiddle to Valentine if his thing falls through, and to actually bid they have to negotiate a letter of intent - i think they'd have had to do that by now even for a last minute swoop. I don't really think Valentines financing will fall through though - $40-$50 Million isn't a large figure in media terms and he already left UPN with a big pay off. It could be a long wait !
  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree. I still wonder if Valentine may be working on behaf of Disney. Maybe for a future sale if Disney can get the other half. Who really knows at this point. I was just thinking the other day how you expressed EMTVs influence on new products right after the sale. Maybe it really is best for Disney to wait in the wings for a little while. Let the Fox show happen, more sales of Muppet panties and see what happens. They seem to have more independence under two bosses than they would under the Mouse. Disney is almost like a working retirement for the Muppets IMHO. They'll use them, but they may not ever really shine under Disney as they could now. I hope the Henson folks really seize this opportunity for a renewed interest in the Muppets. No more of the second act from MFS.
  7. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Active Member

    i would probably be happy with anything....hope the fox show (has a contract been signed) has great writing....i could sit through a poorly put together show as long as the script is a laugh a minute, but even if the show has the best look either, i can't watch a poorly written show!

  8. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Well-Known Member

    from what i heard, the show has already started filming i think and i heard from on here the show is due sometime in march or april for this spring...

  9. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Active Member

    oh really that soon??? wow...not a bad wow either...guess i should read the news section more carefully! i sure hope that's the case....

  10. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Sorry to say, but i think that informations wrong. I'm not sure it's started full production just yet, and it could well need to be delivered to Fox by the spring sometime but it isn't due to air then.
  11. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Active Member

    yeah...i thought it was supposed to air in summer, wasn't that what the report said? it would be awesome to see it sooner, though. the sooner the better!!! well i want them to spend enough time on it to make it good....

  12. ZootandDingo

    ZootandDingo Member

    Yeah, really. There's only an x amount of time after the minister says, "If there is any person who feels these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace."

    The gears are in motion. If Disney really wanted them, the Valentine deal wouldn't have gotten this far already.

    There is a fine line between holding out and missing out.

    "I know some of you like to wait until the last minute....well THIS IS IT!! THIS IS THE LAST MINUTE!!!!"
  13. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    Yeah thats kinda been my theory all along - if Disney really wanted them, the swoop would have happened before any Valentine deal could be announced - now they'd have the hassle of being the company that only got the Muppets because the first choice couldn't afford them.
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, well barring any unforseeable last minute snafu, I guess the EMTV serpant can now kiss the bride...oy, when will the EMTV snake devour its end?

    At any rate, oh gosh...I'm really hoping this Valentine thing is like a breath of fresh air, instead of a continual 12 year downward spiral toward obscurity.

    If not, I'm gonna need a big hug myself. (preferable from a large Muppet of Bear proportion) *sobs*
  15. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    As i said before, the Muppet bandwagon will likely be quiet for the first half of this yeat while they are in the studio, and also this'll give the new owners time to settle in and make whatever changes. Usually when companies change internally, there can be a period of upto six months where they are refocusing, if those changes would have come late last year when the Muppets were still out promoting it could have caused problems what with the questions and everything.
  16. sidcrowe

    sidcrowe New Member


    Yeah, the Mouse would put our Muppets into working retirement :(

    Jeez, I don't know...maybe the Henson company might do something good under this new arrangement. I would've preferred maybe Viacom or Time/Warner over the Power Rangers goof, and I didn't expect this deal at all, but I'm willing to have a good thought for the Muppets under this deal :)

    Even though it continues to involve those lying jerks from EMTV :confused:

    I don't think Jim would've wanted his frog run by liars :mad:
  17. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Re: Froggy

    Word. I know some inside JHC and a lot of fans probably were hoping for the Mouse messiah...but if JHC can make it back without the mouse...more power to em. And ya know, I rather have EMTV as ghastly as it sounds, than Disney pulling strings.
  18. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    As far as i knew, at the start Henson were very happy that EMTV were leaving them alone for the most part. It's hard for them to interfere from Germany. :D
  19. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    That is one thing that is cool...only us hardcore fans and media/business people even know what the heck EM.TV is, as there logo never appears in any fine print on merchandise!
    Disney...on the other hand, if they had bought out the Muppets...yikes!
  20. Luke

    Luke Active Member

    EMTV's logo is on a lot of the press releases and international stuff (not usually merchandise). You don't remember the Kermit standing triumphantly (Hitler Style) on the red background ?

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