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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 12:35 GMT
Kermit and friends join Disney
Kermit, of the Muppets
The deal puts Kermit in the same stable as Mickey Mouse
Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog have decided it's time to raise the curtain on a new era after they and the other Muppets were bought out by Walt Disney.

The massive Disney corporation swooped for the TV and film rights of the loveable puppets after the children of the late Jim Henson agreed to sell.

Henson's daughter Lisa said her father always believed that Disney would be a perfect home for the Muppets.

The deal is a welcome boost for Disney, which is facing a hostile takeover bid.

Pixar

"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 media and theme park giant currently faces a hostile takeover bid from US cable television group Comcast, which has offered an all-shares deal worth about $54bn (29bn).

On Tuesday Disney's board unanimously rejected the bid, and endorsed its much-criticised chief executive, Michael Eisner

He has come under fire for his management style and for failing to negotiate a new distribution deal with leading computerised animation film maker Pixar, the creator of such hits as Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc.

Black sheep

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.




SEE ALSO:
Muppets go home in $89m deal
07 May 03  |  Business
Disney eyes the Muppets
20 Mar 03  |  Entertainment


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