Disney moves for Jetix Europe takeover

LONDON - Disney has struck a deal to move to full ownership of children's TV broadcaster Jetix Europe.

Takeover: Disney intends to obtain 100% of the shares of Jetix Europe
Takeover: Disney intends to obtain 100% of the shares of Jetix Europe

Previously, Disney owned 74% of Jetix Europe. Following today’s deal, for an undisclosed sum, it will own 96% of the company.

The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the year. Disney said it intends to obtain ownership of 100% of the shares in Jetix Europe, which is listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange, through statutory buy-out proceedings. In addition, Disney and Jetix intend to seek termination of Jetix's listing on Euronext Amsterdam.

The deal will significantly expand Disney’s presence in children’s TV. It currently owns Disney Channel and Playhouse Disney. Disney said 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, she added.

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.

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