Newark, NJ, May 15, 2003 – IDT Media today announced that its animation production unit, Digital Production Solutions (DPS), pursuant to a letter agreement, will acquire a 51% interest in Film Roman, Inc., (ROMN.OB) a leading independent animation company, through the purchase of newly issued shares of Film Roman common stock. Film Roman is known for its production work on animated television programs including “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.” IDT Media is a subsidiary of IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT, IDT.C), a multinational carrier, telephone and technology company.
Film Roman, Inc. develops, produces and distributes a broad range of television programming for the television network, cable television, first-run domestic syndication and international markets. The company, founded in 1984 by acclaimed animator Phil Roman, has grown into one of the leading independent animation studios in the world. Film Roman has produced and continues to produce some of the world’s best known animated series, including “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “X-Men,” “The Mask,” “Bobby’s World,” “The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat” and “Garfield & Friends.” Recently, the company announced it will be teaming up with Showtime Networks Inc. to bring to life the characters of Brett Merhar’s popular comic strip “Free For All” for Hi-Definition broadcast release in summer 2003.
“With 18 Emmys and program credits that include TV’s best loved, most successful primetime animated series, Film Roman is the broadcast industry’s leading animation company,” said Jim Courter, IDT’s CEO, and a Director of IDT Media. “With this acquisition, IDT Media’s Digital Production Solutions unit takes its place among the world’s animation production leaders.”
“Digital Production Solutions brings Film Roman the ability to combine our creative strengths with the incredible technological abilities of DPS. Together we will be able to innovate and build a powerhouse in animation, both 2D and CGI,” stated John Hyde, President and CEO of Film Roman, Inc.
Digital Production Solutions is aggressively pursuing the acquisition and licensing of program ideas and properties suitable for animation. These properties can now be jointly produced by DPS and Film Roman.
“This acquisition has great synergy and works well for both companies,” said Morris Berger, IDT Media’s Executive Vice President of Business Development. “By adding Film Roman’s 2-D animation expertise to our 3-D animation capability, we create a powerhouse animation company and at the same greatly enhance the profit potential of the companies’ productions using DPS’ proprietary production management protocol tools.”
In March of this year, DPS acquired rights to never-before-seen projects created by Gene Roddenberry. “Gene Roddenberry’s Starpoint Academy” and “Gene Roddenberry’s Char,” are the first original properties acquired by DPS. DPS is currently working on a co-production with Jim Jinkins and David Campbell of Cartoon Pizza, the creators of Doug, Stanley and PB&J Otter. In addition, the DPS studio has produced episodes of “Monster by Mistake” under an agreement with CCI Entertainment, Ltd to be broadcast in the United States, Canada, Australia and Germany.
In this press release, all statements that are not purely about historical facts, including, but not limited to, those in which we use 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 our 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 our 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. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: potential declines in prices for our products and services; our ability to maintain and grow our retail telecommunications services, particularly our prepaid calling card business; availability of termination capacity; financial stability of our customers; our ability to maintain carrier agreements with foreign carriers; effectiveness of our marketing and distribution efforts; increased competition, particularly from regional bell operating companies; our ability to manage our growth; competitiveness of our Winstar subsidiary; impact of government regulation; our ability to obtain telecommunications products or services required for our products and services; and general economic conditions, particularly in the telecommunications markets. We are under no obligation, and expressly disclaim any obligation, to update the forward-looking statements in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.