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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. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I know someone posted the link but I don't know if you have all read it so here it is.

    TO: Everyone at JHC

    FROM: Charlie

    DATE: May 7, 2003

    RE: “Life’s Like a Movie, Write Your Own Ending”

    I am thrilled to announce that Brian, Cheryl, Heather, John and Lisa Henson have concluded a deal to repurchase the Henson Company! A summary of the transaction and some comments on its significance appear in the attached news release. This announcement is a wonderful and quite extraordinary ending for what has been a tumultuous three-year period.

    Over the years, this company’s extraordinary team of performers, producers, writers, and artists has fought an uphill battle against what has seemed at times overwhelming odds. Despite those odds, together we’ve managed to create some absolutely brilliant productions and products, and made a difference in people’s lives. What we’ve produced—in spite of everything, including the turmoil at our parent company, and the challenges facing every independent production company in today’s entertainment environment—has been achieved with integrity, creativity, and a respect for our audience and our history.

    I think we can all feel proud of what we have accomplished together. And I think that those of us who have devoted much, or all, of our working lives to this company and its wonderful characters and productions should take pride and comfort in knowing that all of our great work will once again be in Henson hands.

    Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with Brian and Lisa to discuss their vision for the new JHC and how it will be structured. I’ll be in touch with each of you individually once these decisions have been finalized.

    Like many of you, I had the privilege of working closely with Jim Henson, and like many of you, I know how pleased Jim would be to hear this wonderful news. As we finally end this long, sometimes painful, but ultimately happy chapter of the Muppet story, I want to thank every one of you for believing in the dream and for all you have done to make this very special company what it has been, what it is, and what it will be.

    And ___________________

    EM.TV Sells Henson Co. Back to Family: The Muppets are returning to America! Troubled German media company EM.TV & Advertising has sold the Jim Henson Co. to the heirs of its founder, the late Jim Henson, for $89 million-a fraction of what the company paid for the assets in February 2000.

    The sale included a cash payment of $78 million plus EM.TV's retaining $11 million in liquid assets previously owned by the Henson unit. The buyers include Mr. Henson's four children-Brian, Cheryl, Heather and Lisa-plus his brother, John. The assets include the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, The Hoobs, Farscape, Henson Television, Jim Henson Pictures and Jim Henson Home Entertainment.

    EM.TV had been trying to unload the Henson properties for nearly two years as part of a broader effort to pay down debt and recoup some of the $680 million it paid for the assets more than three years ago.

    Since the stock market downturn, the company has sold off pieces of the Henson empire, including Sesame Street and its stake in the children's cable network Noggin. It came close two months ago to selling the remaining assets when it inked a deal to sell a 49.9 percent stake to former UPN television head Dean Valentine, but EM.TV canceled that pact.


    I don't know how much if any of that is new, but there it is. Does anyone know how the stockmarket has taken this, talking of stockmarkets?


    :zany: Beau{Whooooopie}regard:zany:
  2. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    That author needs to get his facts (or fact) straight.

    I'm still not understanding what this "$11 million in liquidity" thing means though. Really, one minute the Hensons buy JHC for $89 mil--78 + 11--then I hear that EM.TV is keeping the $11 mil. I don't know, corporate stuff.

    Oh well, either way, at least we who ain't in Germany will be rid of this company.
  3. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    I just sorta found this interesting, though no one probably cares at this point.

    Daily News, New York, Publishing Column

    May 8, 2003 3:14am

    May 8--The children of legendary puppeteer Jim Henson have swooped in at the 11th hour to snare Miss Piggy and Kermit -- their dad's beloved Muppets -- for $78 million.

    Henson's five children were shaken up two weeks ago when it became clear that Disney -- a trusted, longtime partner -- was backing out of a deal to acquire The Jim Henson Co., the show biz empire built by their deceased father.

    "The only bidder the family felt great about was Disney," an insider said.

    "This is our father's legacy," movie director Brian Henson told the Daily News. "It's very important emotionally."

    Brian and sister Lisa Henson will mind the store.

    The family's paying a fraction of the $680 million that German media giant EM.TV paid them for Henson just three years ago. But they are buying a far different company than the one they sold. Cash-strapped EM.TV sold off a key asset, the Sesame Street characters, for $300 million. And the once powerful Muppets lost their luster as EM.TV's money ran out. Now the Henons have to figure out how to bring them back.

    Henson said the potential for a comeback was clear last year when NBC aired a popular Muppets Christmas special. "It proves America loves the Muppets," he said.
  4. Muppets1985

    Muppets1985 Well-Known Member

    The Henson's wated Disney?!! WOW!!!:smirk: well thats cool.
    Well, I got a feeling this isn't gonna stop Disney and/or Sony form looming over the muppets, but for now............ I'm happy! :)
  5. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    The plot thickens. Still, don't let this stop our cheery mood.

  6. Bean Bunny

    Bean Bunny Well-Known Member

    All that the Henson kids need to do now is to start a new relationship with a major studio like Disney or Sony to distribure their films and shows. If they can get the Muppet Show rerun back on the air, on TV Land, ABC Family, or Nick at Nite. They should do real well.
  7. electricmayhem

    electricmayhem Well-Known Member

    I think Nick at Nite would be the perfect place for the Muppet Show. :) What a happy thought:excited:
  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Why does everyone keep saying they need to get into 'relationships' with these other companies to distribute their stuff?

    I think they (JHC) needs to get their OWN distribution and do it themselves!

    We've seen what partnering does in the past, so I say knock out the middle man and keep that money in-house.
  9. muppet_dk

    muppet_dk Well-Known Member

    You make it sound so easy. If it was that easy why haven't they always done it that way.
    I'll bet it's not that easy a job or at least it must require alot of investment in such a department and the question is can it pay off. If not then we'll proberly see Disney as the owners in the future. So it would be safer to have other to do that job.
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    If Henson didn't partner-up for distribution, one or two flops could sink them. And promotion, which is crucial, is very expensive. That's why a marketing partnership is the best thing. Henson Co is spread very thin as it is.
  11. radionate

    radionate Well-Known Member

    I too think that a marketing/promotion/distribution partnership is vital. I think there are many lower cost routes they could take though, to push whatever product they are working on, yet keep the costs low. That is vital.

    Unfortunatly, I think JHC is just starting to figure out low cost ways to market their product. But at least its a start.
  12. wombat woman

    wombat woman Active Member

    Oh, frabjous day! Calloo! Callay!

    *HAPPY-dancing wombat*

    :zany: joy, oh, glee, oh glory :zany:

  13. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I see why distributors would be a good idea then.
  14. jeffy

    jeffy Well-Known Member

    wombat woman,

    I love the signature! :excited:
  15. Cantus' Ghost

    Cantus' Ghost Active Member

    Thank God! The Muppets will not be enveloped by Disney! The Muppets can celebrate their independence and will be something more than another notch in Disney's belt!

    Free at last! Free at Last!
  16. Jaga828

    Jaga828 Member

    Thanks for the compliment Chilly Down! I was so excited when I typed my post that I worded it a bit awkward. Of coarse Jim's muppet creations cannot compare with his own children. I meant "second" in the chronological sense, because his kids came after the first Muppet.

    And in regards to the Henson kids selling the company again....
    I really hope that they don't. There's no need to have a mechanized, corporate greed monster dictating the direction the Muppets should go. Don't get me wrong, I love Disney, but the Muppets have that adult-like edge to them that I think Disney would dilute. Besides, I think the Henson family is EXTREMELY WELL OFF after selling the company for $680 million. Hopefully we will now start to see things pick up at a quicker pace, because I need some new Muppet material to watch!

    Be Well!
  17. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    I would expect there to be some kind of an immediate announcement of a new project just so the JHC can 'prove' itself once again. I guess we'll see, huh?
  18. leliebel

    leliebel Well-Known Member

    Hihi, That may have just made my year...
  19. muppet_dk

    muppet_dk Well-Known Member

    If you read the news storys you'll see that most of the 680 million are in stocks, so the big question is did they cash them BEFORE stock went diving. If they did not do that there properly not that much left.
  20. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    When I awoke to the news of the Henson family buyback, I was literally left breathless. This was the sort of thing folks like Tom, DW, and me at MF could only dream of...and now for this to become a reality, man.

    To think how close Eisner came...and then this at the last minute. As BlueFrackle told me on AIM, the possibilities are truly endless now...as I believe a new era can be ushered in.
    I got word of this news yesterday, as well as Carol Spinney and Oscar the Grouch coming to my neck of the woods...so I am pretty darn giddy. All I can say is I am beyond overjoyed for everyone on here, and of course JHC themselves...truly something special...and the right step towards preserving the past and looking towards the future.

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