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EM.TV to Sell Muppets to Jim Henson's Children for $89 Million

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, May 7, 2003.

  1. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    well you gotta admit, this is more hope than we've ever had before.....a looot more...I think it is going to go through..cause this is the classic muppet way....ya know? I mean the muppets got the theatre back at the end of IAVMMC (aww whatever the christmas special's forever long name was) and some people are using it as a comparison, and the strange thing was....it is...we had disney (bitterman) come through, and now the most unthinkable thing happened, by the person who sort of cause all the trouble in the first place....


    think about it......
  2. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I didn't say it wasn't going to go through. I implied that Henson might sell their shares at a later date and be able engineer a better deal with Disney or another company than they would have under EMTV. Guess you missed that part of my post. :confused:

  3. Muppets1985

    Muppets1985 Well-Known Member

    What the ****........

    YAY FOR THE HENSON KIDS!!!!!! :D :D ;) :halo: LOL never thought i'd say this too Screw u Eisner u had me fooled there for 2 years there pal!!! Mickey and the Gang I STILL love ya but Eisner i just hate!!!:mad: :YEY FOR THE HENSON KIDS!!!!!
  4. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    oops sorry I wasn't clearer....that's kinda the problems with forums your point can be read the wrong way, or due to local ways of wording things you can say one thing and some people understand it as another.....

    yes I get what your saying....(I think...no...I do..) I think there is a renewed sense of hope, and we haven't stopped to think of that, yet...there were just so many bad things that could have happened if EMTV went down with the muppets...I'm not up on all the exact laws and stuff...(especially not in Germany:o ), but I know that the family has a little bit more interest in the well being of the company, so hopefully even if they do sell later, the terms are a little more friendlier, than what EMTV was doing....more negotiations...making sure the Muppets as a whole kept their Muppet-y-ness....


    ok i am on the same topic as you, right Jamie?
  5. Dr. Bombay

    Dr. Bombay Well-Known Member

    When I saw the headline on CNN.com today I kept hearing Kermit doing his happy yell, you know, the one he does after he introduces the guest on the Muppet Show.

    :) :) :)

    I'm so happy to hear that the Muppets are back with their father's family, right where they belong.
  6. AruggeRadio

    AruggeRadio Well-Known Member


    All I can say is amazing. This is the best news for the company I believe out of any possible outcome. The Muppets stay there own entity away from the pocking eyes of a much bigger entity. Great news totally made my day, now the Wild Win and I will be even happier. Talk to you all soon.
  7. Jennifer12

    Jennifer12 Well-Known Member


    YES!!!! Had to scream out loud at work when I read the news clip this morning!!!! Considering we're not supposed to use the internet for personal entertainment, I wouldn't have minded getting in some trouble over it today! But nobody said anything..... This is the best thing that could have happened....hmm....maybe a MuppetFest 2 is in the works to celebrate....:halo:
  8. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    I just want to look at the good right now as this sale looks finial! I don't think the Henson family would buy back the Muppets if they didn't have plans for them. All the new merchandise should help and has helped get the muppets back into the public, we've got classic charcters back with new puppetiers, a bigger fan base, more merchandise in the works, and hopefuly the new Muppet show as well, it should all work out. The Henson family is older and more expericed now, I think they know what to do and how to keep the fans happy.

    Nothings ever over...it's life! LOL, good, bad, lucky, sad, we just gotta take it day by day.:)

  9. Tera

    Tera Well-Known Member

    Praise the Lord and pass the Penguins! yes, Yes, YES!!!

    So...when do you think they'll FINALLY have MuppetFest part Deux?
  10. PinkTribeChick

    PinkTribeChick Active Member

    Well...all I can say is - YAHOOOOOO!!! FINALLY! :excited:

    My only wish for the Henson company now is that the company and the Muppets not only get back to where they rightfully belong - but go above and beyond it.
    I would also like to see the Fraggles back on the air sometime in the future...or at the very least, released on DVD. The fans have waited long enough - and the number of signatures on the petition for it are continually growing. If that's not enough of a sign to the company that something needs to be done to bring this wonderful show back into homes across the US and around the world, for the old generation of fans, and a new one - someone out there is just plain blind. :smirk:
    But then, that's just my opinion... :D
  11. Patty

    Patty Active Member

    It might sound tacky, but I'm really proud of what his kids did here. I always hoped they'd buy back the company.

    I also hope that we keep seeing the Muppets like we have lately. Oh sure, it's just merchandising, but I've loved the Muppet gear that's been hitting shelves lately.

    Just an interesting coincidental aside: I was picking up some stuff at an art supply/framing store tonight, and some guy was picking up these HUGE framed portraits .... the black and white photos were of Jim Henson, Kermit, and the man when he was a boy. Apparently he had been in an episode of Sesame Street circa 1971. I told him the news of the buy-back and he was quite happy.

    Henson is in the air.
  12. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Here's an article...

    Germany's EM.TV sells Muppets maker company to founder's family

    .c The Associated Press

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - The family of Muppet creator Jim Henson has succeeded in a last-minute bid to repurchase the company they sold to a German media firm in 2000.

    The Henson family decided only two weeks ago to bid for The Jim Henson Co., which they will buy for a fraction of what Munich-based EM.TV paid for it, according to Brian Henson.

    Munich-based EM.TV bought the company and rights to such Muppet characters as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in February 2000 for $680 million in cash and stock.

    But in May 2001, it said it was considering selling the Los Angeles-based firm. It has since sold some Henson assets, including the ``Sesame Street'' rights, for about $200 million.

    On Wednesday, it said it was selling the rest of Henson for $78 million in cash and was keeping the $11 million that the Henson operation had on hand.

    ``The family has been watching on the sidelines, sadly watching, as EM.TV collapsed and never even started the plan they were going to do and then painfully watching as the company was put back on the market,'' Henson said in an interview.

    ``Both out of concern for where the company might end up and the legacy of Jim Henson, and 'enough is enough,' we decided to come back in to run the company,'' he said.

    Other companies thought to have made bids included The Walt Disney Co. Disney planned to buy Henson at least once before, but that deal fell apart shortly after Jim Henson's death in 1990.

    On Wednesday, Brian Henson, 39, would not say if his family's bid was prompted by concern that the Muppets would be bought by Disney.

    ``Disney is a terrific company,'' Henson said. ``We only have the highest respect for Disney as a company.''

    Jim Henson founded his self-named company in 1958, inventing the term ``muppet'' as a cross between the words marionette and puppet.

    The buyers include five Henson children: Brian, a brother and three sisters. The assets they bought include The Muppets, The Muppet Babies, The Fraggles, The Hoobs, Farscape, and Bear in the Big Blue House.

    The sale agreement still requires approval by EM.TV shareholders. EM.TV's annual general meeting is scheduled for July 20.

    Henson said his family decided to sell in 2000 because as independent producers they could not raise enough cash to become the kind of vertically integrated media company they felt they needed to be to survive.

    ``It was looking like we wouldn't even get on the air if we didn't own a TV channel,'' Henson said. ``We decided the 'grow bigger' scenario was the best for the company.''

    Unfortunately, Henson said, EM.TV never followed through on its promise to spend money to market the Muppet characters and produce new television and movie projects.

    ``Instead, the emphasis of the company went to 'What can we split off and sell' as opposed to 'How do we build up the Muppets,'' he said.

    The family also suffered from EM.TV's problems as they watched the stock they acquired as part of the sale sink in value.

    Henson said the family had hoped that after the success of ``The Very Muppet Christmas Movie'' on NBC the company would sell quickly.

    ``It did extremely well and for anybody looking to buy the company, it was a very solid bit of evidence that the Muppets are 'top of mind' in America and not just a nostalgic piece of history,'' he said.

    Henson said the family stood by while EM.TV tried to find a buyer, then decided they needed to take quick action to regain control.

    ``We had always been watching the negotiations very closely,'' he said. ``Some of the bidders we felt not so great about and some we felt good about. At a certain point, enough was enough and we said, 'We'll own it, we'll operate it and we'll feel good about it.'''

    Henson said all five family members will serve on the company's board and that he and his sister Lisa will be actively involved in management.

    ``It will be a very active board,'' Henson said.

    05/08/03 00:24 EDT
  13. electricmayhem

    electricmayhem Well-Known Member

    Good points Zack, I think that's exactly it. I'm sure they have reason for buying back the Muppets and I'm sure it's not to just sell them again but all we can do is wait and see. As many others have said, they know the values and beliefs that the Muppets stand for better than anyone and they want to help keep them alive:)

    I listened to "Together Again" on the way to my class after I heard the news and man, I had the biggest dumb grin on my face, I'm sure some people thought I was crazy:zany: :excited:
  14. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Classic and Sesame were apparently close to buying Henson

    Muppets home with the family

    By Scott Roxborough and Cynthia Littleton

    COLOGNE/LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It's a fairy tale ending drawn straight from a Muppet movie.

    The five adult children of Muppets creator Jim Henson have struck a deal to regain control of their father's creative legacy by buying back the Jim Henson Co. from its German owner, EM.TV & Merchandising, in a transaction valued at $89 million. The price tag, which comprises $78 million in cash and $11 million in liquid assets, is a fraction of the $680 million in cash and stock that EM.TV paid for Henson in February 2000.

    Led by Brian Henson, who stepped down as Henson Co. chairman last May, the Henson family moved with lightning speed to wrap up the deal during the past week.

    The Hensons swooped in under the radar of other bidders at the eleventh hour as EM.TV was moving to complete an agreement in principle to sell the company to New York-based Classic Media and Sesame Workshop, whose joint bid was to be bankrolled by the home video arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment in exchange for video rights to Henson productions.

    The Henson Co. had been on the auction block for more than two years after EM.TV's once high-flying stock collapsed and the company began to face a serious financial crisis in late 2000. The Henson children -- Brian, Cheryl, Heather, John and Lisa -- were spurred to take action when they realized that Kermit the Frog and other of their late father's creations were poised to be acquired by a small rights-holding company rather than a deep-pocketed major like the Walt Disney Co., which had been negotiating for Henson on and off with EM.TV but pulled out of the bidding process for good about two weeks ago, sources said.

    "It's been downright agonizing watching the process of trying to sell this company," Brian Henson said. "It's just became more and more painful to watch it going on and on, and two weeks ago we decided enough is enough."

    Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, president of Jim Henson Pictures, will be actively involved in the management of the company, though Brian Henson said the family has not had the time to formulate long-term strategic plans for the firm.

    Brian Henson denied speculation that the family's buyout was a short-term proposition. There are no plans to orchestrate another sale to a major media concern in the near future, he said. Instead, the Henson Co. would seek "strategic" partnerships in film and TV production with other companies, much as it functioned in the 1990s before the EM.TV sale.

    "Right now the Henson family is enthusiastic about owning the company and operating the company on a go-forward basis," Brian Henson said. "This is a group of five very strong-willed individuals who are very deeply, emotionally and logistically tapped into running this company."

    Three years ago, when the family opted to sell the company founded by their father in 1958, Brian Henson said the family felt the company was at a crossroads in a fast-changing media landscape. At the time, Henson owned minority stakes in several cable channels, including the former Odyssey Channel (now Hallmark Channel) and Noggin, but was still too small to compete with the larger media players.

    EM.TV wooed the Henson clan with promises of investing millions of dollars in marketing the Muppets and other Henson characters around the world, particularly in Europe, where EM.TV had clout in the TV marketplace, Brian Henson said. The Henson children profited enormously from the 2000 sale, which was largely financed with EM.TV stock, and thus were easily able to summon the $78 million in cash it took to seal the buyback deal with EM.TV.

    When EM.TV hit hard times, the company began selling off many of Henson's assets, so the company the family is reacquiring is essentially a pure-play production company. Brian Henson said he was gratified by the success of Henson Co.'s most recent TV movie, "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie," which racked up solid ratings for NBC in December. In fact, Brian Henson said he expected the company to be snapped up soon after the NBC picture proved that the Muppets still had appeal to kids and parents.

    "That was cut-and-dried evidence that the Muppets were not just a nostalgic property but a very vibrant and viable part of America today," he said. "I thought the company would be sold in a week."

    Wednesday's agreement with the Henson family will enable EM.TV to pay off the remaining installment of a EUR250 million ($284 million) loan on which it has been granted multiple extensions from various creditors and will end the company's liquidity crisis. The agreement has to be approved by EM.TV shareholders and U.S. and international regulators, but EM.TV and the Hensons said they expect to sign a final deal in eight to 10 weeks.

    Although EM.TV is struggling to recover from the acquisition spree undertaken in 1999-2000 by company founders Thomas Haffa and Florian Haffa, who resigned in 2001 and were convicted last month in Germany of securities fraud, the company actually didn't fare too badly with its Henson purchase. EM.TV only put up about $100 million in cash to finance the acquisition, which it recouped through the various Henson asset sales, which were valued at more than $200 million.
  15. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Re: and another article

    Well, if this is indeed TRUE (though it makes me question the media reports now) and it means what I think it means, well...YAY HENSON KIDS!!! Hoo-WOWWWW!!!!! *screech* Hey, Brian, Lisa, Cheryl, John, Heather, you go kids! You teach Casper a lesson!

    It's either Disney or the Henson Family, and if CM/SW were about to get them well, I'm glad the Hensons got the company back. So, that's it from me on this historic day.:) :halo: :crazy: :zany: :excited:
  16. Stulz

    Stulz Well-Known Member



    Wonderful News I was so busy at work today i didn't hear the news until I was leaving!!
    And might I add, that in this high-tech all access world we live in it's nice to see something as wonderfully as this news sneak in and surprise everyone!

    I'm extra excited about this now , Beacuse it didn'y have time to feel old hat!!

    Bonus points to the Henson's - Got the Family comapny back ALL THE WHILE keeping it a secret from all the snoppy fan-boys (and girls) all over the world.
    How did we miss this, mamma always said it's always in the last place you look.. haha
  17. Patty

    Patty Active Member

  18. Joggy

    Joggy Well-Known Member

    Yesterday afternoon, knowing nothing about this matter, I was alone in the computer lab testing our new projector/beamer. I decided to try it out on a colourful website, and chose Muppet Central.

    How big was my amazement when I saw an ENORMOUS photo of Brian, and the news in HUGE letters, on our classroom wall!

    Way to go Hensons!! This is absolutely LOVELY news for such a LOVELY company!
  19. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    JOGGY! That's a great way to find out this news!!!!! It sounds Very specail!!!!!:D

  20. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I read this this morning and just felt sooooo happy I felt all bubbly. I just closed this site and danced around the room. Then I went and told Mum and Dad who were indifferent and then I texted my sister, (Not that she is interested but I had to tell someone.)

    I am still dancing for joy now. :excited: (That is the first time I have used that smilie in context!!!)


    I just want to fill this with penguin smilies. And to think that Brian left the company a little while back.

    Happy, happy, happy, happy. I was sooo pleased. I was just thinking yesterday. Oh well. I guess Disney will have them and now this.

    I am going to stop now. before I embarase myself. :o

    :zany: Bea:zany:{Whooooopie}regard:zany:

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