Newark, N.J., May 6, 2004 – IDT Entertainment today announced that it has acquired a minority equity interest in POW! Entertainment LLC, headed by comic book legend Stan Lee. In addition, IDT Entertainment has acquired exclusive distribution rights for all POW! Entertainment animated DVD properties. The companies also announced they will co-produce and co-develop a minimum of six animation projects for Direct-to-DVD distribution and broadcast. Stan Lee, Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment, is well known as the co-creator of Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Daredevil and other famous comic book superhero characters. IDT Entertainment is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company.
“Evil doers beware, here comes the next generation of superheroes,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO. “This new venture linking IDT Entertainment with the legendary Stan Lee will create new classic characters for today’s generation that will rival the popularity of his original comic book creations.”
According to the terms of the agreement Stan Lee will create original characters for six new animated productions in a series entitled, “Stan Lee Presents.” Initial plans have identified direct-to-video and broadcast as potential distribution channels.
“IDT Entertainment is bringing the creative genius of Stan Lee into homes worldwide,” said Morris Berger, CEO of IDT Entertainment. “Now for the first time, Stan will have the power of IDT Entertainment’s Global Animation Studio at his disposal and guaranteed distribution to his core audience through our subsidiary Anchor Bay. These new properties will be perfect additions to Anchor Bay’s compelling catalog of DVD titles.”
Stan Lee is the inventor of the modern comic superhero. A prolific author, Lee revolutionized the comic book industry by creating compelling characters who, despite extraordinary powers and talents, are none the less plagued by the same doubts and difficulties experienced by ordinary people. Some of his most enduring characters, like Spider-Man, The Hulk and X-Men, have been spun off into television programs and feature films that have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office.
“This joint venture with IDT Entertainment is a creative dream come true,” said Stan Lee, Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment. “I feel like a kid in a candy store. I can’t wait to see how IDT Entertainment transforms my new characters and stories into spectacular 3-D animated form.”
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.
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.