BURBANK, Calif., December 7, 2008 — In order to expand its kids and family media business in Europe and extend its brand leadership around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced that one of its subsidiaries has entered into agreements to acquire outstanding shares of Jetix Europe N.V. (AMEX: JETIX; Reuters: JETIX.AS; Bloomberg: JETIX.NA) for € 11 per share, which will bring Disney’s ownership of the pan-European kids entertainment company to approximately 96%.
Completion of the transaction is expected to take place before the end of the year. Following such completion, Disney intends to obtain ownership of 100% of the shares in Jetix, including through statutory buy-out proceedings. In addition, Disney and Jetix intend to seek termination of Jetix’s listing on Euronext Amsterdam.
The acquisition will position Disney to better serve its large and growing Jetix audience and distribution partners through improved programming, more targeted branding, more integrated management, and implementation of company-wide synergies.
“Television continues to be a strong brand builder for Disney around the world and this investment enhances our efforts to reach kids and families,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. “By achieving operating efficiencies, we will have additional opportunities to create more family-friendly programming and locally-produced content across Europe .”
Disney acquired its original interest in Jetix Europe (formerly Fox Kids Europe), which reached 24 million subscribers, when it purchased Fox Family Worldwide from News Corp. in 2001.
About Jetix Europe
Jetix Europe is a pan-European media company comprised of television channels, program distribution and consumer products businesses. Its programming, geared towards kids age 6-14, currently reaches a combined 137 million television households in 58 countries and 18 languages. JCP (Jetix Consumer Products International) is Jetix Europe’s consumer products and home entertainment business with representation in 30 European countries including fully integrated offices in the UK, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands as well as third party agents in other key markets.
Disney operates other Jetix channels and/or programming blocks in Latin America, India , Japan and the United States.
The wholly-owned Jetix channels in Latin America reach 19.8 million subscribers. 150 hours per week of Jetix programming airs on India ‘s Toon Disney channel, reaching 55 million subscribers, and 35 hours per week airs on Japan ‘s Toon Disney, reaching 4.5 million subscribers.
In the U.S. , 90 hours per week of Jetix-branded programming airs on the wholly-owned basic cable channel Toon Disney reaching more than 72 million homes.
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products. Disney, a Dow 30 company, had annual revenues of more than $37 billion in its most recent fiscal year.