German children’s TV outfit EM.TV is hoping to sell the Jim Henson Co., which it aquired in 2000 for $600 million, because of its recent financial troubles. The main reason for the company’s loss was a $220 million writedown of its 16.7% stake in Formula One marketing outfit SLEC, as well as collateral damage from last year’s Kirch Group collapse. According to the trades, Em.TV’s revenues fell to $272 million, down 5% from 2001’s adjusted sales.
“The fundamental changes in the national and international media landscape and, in particular, the collapse of the Kirch Group have considerably delayed and complicated EM.TV’s restructuring and strategic repositioning process,” said the company in a statement.
Since EM.TV has a $27 million loan due this month, it’s eager to sell Henson. Disney remains on top of the list of potential buyers, although the company reportedly wants only the Muppet assets from Henson for about $70 million.