Growing up poor in Tel Aviv, Haim Saban never had money for a car or taxis. He would walk everywhere, which is how one Wednesday evening, the then 20-year-old found himself at a swimming pool-cum-club in Tel Aviv, smelling an opportunity to make some money.“There was a band playing at the pool that was pretty lousy and the place was empty,” Saban remembers. “I was not in a band, but I thought, ‘let me try something.’ So I went to...
As chairman-CEO of Saban Capital Group, Haim Saban has sprawling investments that include Spanish-language TV giant Univision and a range of international film, TV and digital media companies, as well as consumer products and real estate. His net worth is estimated by Forbes at $2.9 billion.
In September 2016, Saban Capital Acquisition raised $235 million in an initial public stock offering as a blank-check fund that is expected to invest much of the proceeds proceeds in Israeli media and tech companies. The Egypt-born Saban grew up in Tel Aviv and served in the Israeli Defense Force.
Saban moved to France in the mid-1970s and started a successful record company. By 1983, he relocated to Los Angeles where he launched a chain of recording studios that specialized in providing music for television. A self-described “cartoon schlepper,” Saban expanded into animation production in 1988, partnering with Marvel Comics on an “X-Men” series, among other properties.
But Saban’s biggest success came in 1993 with the launch of the live-action “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” franchise, which became a worldwide hit. Four years later, Saban partnered with Fox, the U.S. home of “Power Rangers,” to acquire a cable channel that became Fox Family Channel. In 2001, Fox and Saban sold Fox Family to Disney for $3 billion.
Saban used the windfall from the Fox Family sale — his share was estimated at $1.7 billion — to launch the Century City-based Saban Capital investment venture. Among the company’s bigger acquisitions early on was Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media, which was sold at a profit in 2007.
Saban and his wife, Cheryl Saban, have long been ardent supporters of the Democratic Party. Since 2002 the pair have made more than $28 million in political donations, the vast majority for Democratic candidates and causes.