LONDON — Beleaguered German kidvidder EM.TV has confirmed that it is looking into selling the Jim Henson Co., just a year after it bought the Muppet creator for $680 million in cash and stock.
Disney, Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Warners are interested, but none is willing to meet the asking price. In December, Disney indicated it may be willing to pay up to $250 million.
“We’re currently reviewing the profitability of all our units,” said EM.TV spokesman Stephanie Schusser. “So far, we’re just considering a sale; no decisions have been made.”
The Wall Street Journal reported, however, that the sale is a requirement of a rescue package EM.TV signed with German media conglom Kirch Group last month.
EM.TV acquired Jim Henson alongside its other major asset, Formula One motor racing, in a bid to establish a business based on major brands.
A question-mark remains over EM.TV’s other acquisitions, including its stake in Constantin Film and its 45% stake in Tele Munchen.
A deal with Tele Munchen honcho Herbert Kloiber would call for Kloiber to pay back the original DM800 million ($373.8 million) purchase price with interest.