The Fox Children’s Network, a subsidiary of Fox Broadcasting Company, and Saban Entertainment have formally consolidated to form a single holding company known as Fox Kids Networks Worldwide.
An initial public offering was filed in September. The offering will be co-managed by Merrill Lynch & Co., Allen & Company Incorporated and Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. An announcement for the release and sale of stock is expected imminently.
Under the new agreement, Haim Saban, chairman and CEO of Saban Entertainment, continues to have responsibility for all Saban-related operations and Margaret L’esch, named chairman and CEO of Fox Kids Networks Worldwide, continues her role in overseeing all operations pertaining to the Fox Children’s Networks and ancillary operations.
Fox Kids Networks Worldwide will operate as a fully integrated global children’s television entertainment company that will develop, acquire, produce, broadcast and distribute animated and live-action children’s programming.
The agreement follows a strategic alliance between the Fox Broadcasting Company and Saban in October 1995. ‘Our determination to agree to this combination is the direct result of our success in working together as an alliance,’ says Saban. Together, we can now move forward from a significantly stronger foundation to expand our collective businesses on a global basis.’
The merger is seen by Fox as a necessary ingredient for future success in the worldwide expansion of Fox Children’s Network. ‘Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts,’ says L’esch. ‘I think that this move will make the difference as to whether or not we’re really successful in the international arena. By bringing [Saban] on board, it gives us an insurance policy and the tools we need to build a very strong international television company. I think it makes the difference between success and failure.’