Newark, NJ & New York, NY January 28, 2004 – IDT Entertainment and Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC today announced IDT Entertainment’s acquisition of a five per cent (5%) equity interest in Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC. The agreement provides IDT the rights to co-develop and co-produce select animated properties based upon Archie Comics Entertainment characters. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE:IDT, IDT.C) a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company. Archie Comics Entertainment LLC is the entertainment and licensing arm of Archie Comic Publications Inc.
The Archie Comics Entertainment character properties include: Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty and their Riverdale friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats, Katy Keene, Cheryl Blossom, as well as super hero properties from the Mighty Crusaders library.
“Sit back, relax and get ready to laugh – The best of the Archie Comics characters will be animated for your viewing pleasure,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO. “Archie Comics characters will be joining X-Men and Spiderman, other comic book heroes that IDT Entertainment is animating for television and direct to DVD distribution.”
IDT Entertainment intends to immediately start development on several projects based on Archie Comics characters. Plans include the creation of direct to DVD programming that may be distributed through Anchor Bay, IDT Entertainment’s distribution division, as well as possible feature film production.
“For over 60 years Archie Comics characters have provided the public with the best in family friendly entertainment,” said Morris Berger, CEO of IDT Entertainment. “This is a brand that has stood the test of time. We’re excited to be working with Archie Comics Entertainment to produce animated programming for their loyal audience and to introduce their wonderful characters to a whole new generation of fans.”
“The last year has proven to be a time of tremendous growth for both Archie Comics Entertainment, LLC and IDT Entertainment, which has gained industry-wide recognition for its distinctive and innovative approach to worldwide animation,” said, Allan I. Grafman, President of Archie Comics Entertainment. “IDT’s commitment to wholesome, fun, animated programming is our ‘sweet spot.’ IDT’s strategy, family orientation, management and staff are in perfect ‘sync’ with Archie Comics Entertainment. We look forward to the limitless synergistic opportunities that will be generated by our association.”
Archie Comics Entertainment LLC was established in 2003 as the entertainment and licensing arm of Archie Comic Publications, home of the world renowned character properties Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and their Riverdale friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Josie and the Pussycats and Katy Keene, as well as super hero properties Mighty Crusaders including The Web. With offices in metro New York, Archie Comics Entertainment is involved in the development, production and worldwide distribution of original projects for television, film and home video, music, live events and the Internet as well as represents the licensing and merchandising of its enduring brands across all global markets. Archie Comics Entertainment is on the Web at www.archiecomics.com.
In March 2003, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), now a unit of IDT Entertainment, acquired rights to Starpoint Academy and Char, both Gene Roddenberry creations. Starpoint Academy is presently in production. In May 2003, IDT Entertainment acquired a controlling interest in Film Roman, Inc., the animation company well known for its production work on The Simpsons, King of the Hill, and other popular broadcast television programs. In July 2003, IDT Entertainment acquired a minority equity interest in Vanguard Animation, LLC. Under the terms of the Vanguard Animation investment, IDT Entertainment was granted a first look right to provide production services on future Vanguard Animation projects. IDT and Vanguard Animation also entered into a joint venture agreement to jointly develop, produce, finance and arrange distribution of computer generated (CG) animation entertainment. In December 2003, IDT Entertainment acquired a controlling interest in Mainframe Entertainment Inc., a Vancouver, Canada based entertainment company well known for producing CG animation for films, television, videogames and the direct-to-consumer market. In December 2003, IDT Entertainment acquired Anchor Bay Entertainment Group from Handleman Company.
IDT Corporation, through its IDT Telecom subsidiary, is a facilities-based, multinational carrier that provides a broad range of telecommunications services to retail and wholesale customers worldwide. IDT Telecom, by means of its own national telecommunications backbone and fiber optic network infrastructure, provides its customers with integrated and competitively priced international and domestic long distance and domestic all-distance telephony and prepaid calling cards. IDT Entertainment is the IDT subsidiary focused on developing, acquiring, producing and distributing computer-generated and traditionally animated productions and other productions for the film, broadcast and direct-to-consumer markets. IDT Media is the IDT subsidiary principally responsible for the Company’s initiatives in radio broadcasting, brochure distribution and new video technologies. Winstar Holdings, LLC, which provides service under the IDT Solutions brand, is the IDT subsidiary focused on providing broadband and telephony services to commercial and governmental customers through a fixed-wireless and fiber infrastructure. Net2Phone, Inc., a subsidiary of IDT Corporation, is a leading provider of high-quality global retail Voice over IP services and offers a fully outsourced cable telephony service to cable operators allowing cable operators to provide residential phone service to their subscribers. Liberty Media Corporation holds a 5% stake in IDT Telecom and also owns 5.6% stakes in IDT Entertainment and IDT Media.
IDT Corporation’s Class B Common Stock and Common Stock trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols IDT and IDT.C, respectively.
Important Note: In this press release, all statements that are not purely about historical facts, including, but not limited to, those in which the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate, “target” and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. While these forward-looking statements represent IDT’s current judgment of what may happen in the future, actual results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied by these statements due to numerous important factors, including, but not limited to, those described in IDT’s most recent report on SEC Form 10-K (under the heading “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”), which may be revised or supplemented in subsequent reports on SEC Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings IDT may make with the SEC.