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EM.TV goes Muppety, acquires Jim Henson Company

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The Jim Henson Company, one of the world's leading producers and marketers of pre-school, kids and family entertainment, signed a definitive agreement with EM.TV & Merchandising AG, of Munich, Germany, one of the fastest-growing and most successful media, animated cartoon and retail companies in Europe under which EM.TV will acquire 100% of Henson in a cash-and-stock transaction notionally valued at $680 million.

Established in 1958 and headquartered in Los Angeles, The Jim Henson Company's library comprises more than 450 hours of family programming and includes famous series, TV movies and specials such as The Muppet Show, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, Fraggle Rock, numerous Muppet movies and the recent international successes Bear in the Big Blue House and Farscape. It also is allied with the movie channel Hallmark Entertainment and kiddie channel Kermit Channel.

The leadership of The Jim Henson Company will be substantially unchanged. Brian Henson will continue to be responsible for initiating and driving the creative and technological forces of the Company as Chairman. Charlie Henson will be promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer. Lisa Henson will be officially joining the Company as President of Jim Henson Pictures, and also serve as Vice-Chairman. They will work closely with EM.TV's Chairman and CEO Thomas Haffa and his brother Florian, who is the Vice-Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.

EM.TV & Merchandising AG is one of the fastest-growing and most successful media, animated cartoon and retail companies in Europe. Established in 1989 by Thomas Haffa, Chairman and CEO, EM.TV & Merchandising AG has developed into a leading international media company. The company is active in the production of children's and family programs, worldwide distribution of TV rights, and marketing of merchandising rights and major international events. EM.TV is the world market leader in family and children's programming and the European market leader in merchandising. With 30,000 half hours of programming under its control, EM.TV has one of the largest children's and family entertainment businesses in the world.

Thomas Haffa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EM.TV & Merchandising AG said, "This acquisition gives us access to one of the world's most outstanding product libraries, and represents a major milestone in the development of our company. By acquiring The Jim Henson Company, we gain some of the most powerful and enduring kids' and family brands worldwide and get access to the world's biggest and most important media market."

Allen & Company Incorporated advised The Jim Henson Company with regard to the transaction.

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