In the middle of a takeover bid from Comcast, Disney completes deal for the late Jim Henson’s Muppets, who have always been Disney-esque anyway:
- Henson’s daughter Lisa said her father always believed that Disney would be a perfect home for the Muppets.
….”In the months before his death in 1990, my father, Jim Henson, pursued extensive discussions with the Walt Disney Co., based on his strong belief that Disney would be the perfect home for the Muppets,” Lisa Henson said in a statement.
It has not been revealed how much Disney has paid for the Muppets.
The hostile takeover approach for the film and theme park giant comes from US cable television group Comcast, which has offered an all-shares deal that was worth about $54bn.
On Tuesday Disney’s board unanimously rejected the bid, and endorsed its much-criticised chief executive, Michael Eisner
….Disney said that while it would consider any “legitimate proposal” to enhance shareholder value, Comcast’s price-tag was too low.
Former Disney director Roy Disney, nephew of founder Walt, has also been a headache for the group, calling for Mr Eisner to stand down, and staying the Comcast bid highlighted what he saw as mismanagement at Disney.
But Disney has fought back and in a letter to shareholders it accused Roy Disney of double standards, saying that while still on the board he voted in favour of business stategies he now opposes. [BBC]
Now maybe we’ll get a good Muppet movie again, or the TV show might be revived – it hasn’t been the same without Jim, though, has it?
More info on th deal:
- Disney and Henson declined to disclose financial terms of the deal for the Muppets, but two sources familiar with the matter said it included a payment of $40 million to $60 million plus a share of future Muppet profits.
Jim Henson’s heirs paid about $89 million last year in order to regain control of the company he had founded.
The deal, which included rights for the characters featured in the children’s show “Bear in the Blue House,” came as Comcast and Disney appeared to be at a standoff over the proposed merger.
Lisa Henson, co-chief executive of Henson Co., said she had been close to a deal for weeks to sell the Muppets to Disney, reviving an agreement that was almost completed 14 years ago. [Reuters]