Hallmark to Sell Film-Production Entity


Media Contact: bnussbaum@hallmarkent.com
All Other Inquiries: Hallmark Customer Service

 

NEW YORK (Dec. 8, 2005) — Hallmark Entertainment LLC's Robert Halmi Jr. and Robert Halmi Sr., together with affiliates of Kelso & Company, a private investment firm, will acquire all of the ownership interests of Hallmark Entertainment, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Hallmark Entertainment LLC is a producer of television movies and miniseries.

Additionally, JPMorgan is leading the financing for the transaction, which is expected to close in early January 2006.

Within 60 days of the close of this transaction, Hallmark Entertainment LLC will be renamed RHI Entertainment, LLC.

"For the past 11 years it has been an honor to work with Hallmark Cards, as they have been a tremendous and supportive partner," said Robert Halmi Jr, Hallmark Entertainment president and CEO. "Now the time has come for us to start a new chapter with the flexibility afforded to an independent entertainment company which will facilitate better service to our clients."

"We are proud of the quality of television programming Hallmark Entertainment has produced for a variety of networks during our years of association with the Halmis," said Don Hall Jr., Hallmark president and CEO.

Hallmark Cards originally purchased RHI Entertainment from Robert Halmi Jr. and Robert Halmi Sr. in 1994.

Kelso & Company and the Halmis were advised by Rothschild.

Since Hallmark Entertainment's inception, and under the guidance of the Halmis, the company has produced and distributed over 4000 hours of television programming.

Kansas City-based Hallmark is known throughout the world for its greeting cards, related personal expression products, and television's most honored and enduring dramatic series, the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Its Binney & Smith subsidiary, maker of Crayola crayons and markers, is the leading producer of art materials for children and students.

Kelso & Company, one of the oldest and most established firms specializing in private equity investing, has been involved in leveraged acquisitions since 1971. The firm makes equity investments on behalf of investment partnerships, which it manages. Since 1980, Kelso has invested in more than 82 companies with total initial enterprise value of more than $21 billion.

Rothschild, one of the world's leading independent investment banks, was established over 200 years ago and has 40 offices in over 30 countries. The firm specializes in corporate advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions and restructurings.

For additional information please contact Beth Nussbaum, vice president of Public Relations for Hallmark Entertainment at 212-261-9156 or bnussbaum@hallmarkent.com.

  12/06