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SHORT TAKES : Disney Henson Deal to Proceed

From Times Wire Services

Despite last week’s unexpected death of Muppets creator Jim Henson, the Walt Disney Co. plans to go through with its pending purchase of Henson Associates Inc., a Disney spokesman said today.

“I don’t see any reason why the sale won’t go through,” said Erwin Okun, a spokesman for Disney. “It will be temporarily delayed to allow for an appropriate mourning period.”

Okun did not disclose when the deal is scheduled to be completed.

Funeral services were held in New York at noon today for Henson, who died last Wednesday from bacterial pneumonia. He was 53.

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Disney announced the deal, worth an estimated $150 million, last August but it has never indicated when the acquisition is expected to be closed. The assets include the Muppets characters, its movie and television library and several hundred employees.

Since the deal was announced, Disney and Henson Associates have worked together on a number of projects, including a “Here Come the Muppets” stage show, due to open June 15 at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park in Orlando, Fla. The show will eventually come to Disneyland in Anaheim.


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