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NEWS

Sesame Street Season 45 premieres Monday September 15

Muppets star in Toyota Super Bowl ad campaign

"Lady Gaga & The Muppets' Holiday Spectacular" airs Thanksgiving

Frank Oz, Brian Jay Jones honor Jim Henson on The Today Show October 15

Muppet tech master and puppeteer Franz "Faz" Fazakas dies at 95

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MERCHANDISE

"The Great Muppet Caper" and "Muppet Treasure Island" coming to Blu-ray December 10

"Jim Henson: The Biography" releases on September 24

"The Muppet Movie" anniversary edition arrives on Blu-ray

Video: "The Muppet Movie" coming to Blu-ray in 2013

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Henson sale extended until February

Courtesy of Reuters
January 21, 2003

EM.TV said on Tuesday it found means to repay part of a 49 million euro ($52.17 million) loan, buying itself more time to sell the Jim Henson Company, the maker of the Muppets, as the German media group struggles to raise cash.

EM.TV & Merchandising AG, a children's television programmer, paid the Henson family $680 million for the business in 2000 and has been trying to sell it for more than a year in a race against a looming deadline to raise the cash it needs to repay the loan.

EM.TV has agreed to sell the stake to a group led by Dean Valentine, the former chief executive of Viacom Inc's United Paramount Network, backed by private equity house Europlay Capital Advisors.

But it has been struggling to seal the deal, which sources say could raise some $30 million, before the loan falls due at the end of January. It said on Tuesday it was already in talks with its banks about a partial repayment of the loan and a deadline extension to February.

The cash-strapped group, once the star of Germany's growth stock market, Neuer Markt, will use a one-off $37 million payment from the Sesame Workshop Foundation to repay another tranche of the loan, a company statement said.

Sesame Workshop, which bought all rights to the children television classic "Sesame Street" from Henson for a total of $180 million in 2000, has agreed to pay down the outstanding amount of $56 million payable until 2010 in a lump-sum at a discount, EM.TV said.

"The EM.TV board expects a binding agreement on the sale of the Henson stake by the end of February," it said.

 
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Fan site Muppet Central created by Phillip Chapman. Updates by Muppet Central Staff. All Muppets, Bear
characters are copyright of The Muppets Studio. Sesame Street characters are copyright of Sesame Workshop.
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