If I only had the money…

Billionaire Saban in Talks to Buy Muppet-Makers
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Haim Saban is in talks to buy Muppet-maker Jim Henson Co., at a steep discount to what Germany’s EM.TV & Merchandising AG paid for it, people close to the situation said on Tuesday.
The two sides are still haggling over the price, but it is broadly in the vicinity of about $100 million, these people added. EM.TV paid $680 million for Henson in February 2000.
There may be other suitors for the makers of Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster and Big Bird, the sources said, but the EM.TV unit has been on the block for more than a year.
Representatives for Munich-based EM.TV and Saban declined to comment.
Saban, who made his fortune with children’s figures the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, has savvy bargaining power on his side. Nancy Schultz, who served as Henson’s chief financial officer for a short time, and who also advised Henson when she was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, now works for Saban Capital Group Inc.
Jim Henson produces movies, such as “Muppets in Space,” and its world-famous creature shop makes well-known puppets and creates special effects. It won an Oscar for the special effects in the film “Babe.”
When the company’s namesake, the beloved Jim Henson, died suddenly 12 years ago, Disney pulled out of a deal to buy the company, believing Henson embodied the empire he founded in 1958. Henson’s son, Brian, ran the business until he and the family sold it to EM.TV.
EM.TV, which has been trying to raise money by unloading non-core assets, last year sold Henson’s stake in Crown Media Holdings for about $100 million. Sesame Workshop also bought the Sesame Street Muppets characters from Henson last year.
Disney and Viacom both were interested in buying Henson over the past year, but discussions with both fell apart, according to media reports.
Saban, who is also bidding for insolvent German media group KirchMedia, made about $1.5 billion last year when he and partner News Corp. sold cable network Fox Family Worldwide to Disney for $3 billion.