The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company Sign Agreement for Disney to Buy the ``Muppets'' and ``Bear in the Big Blue House''. The transaction includes all Muppet assets, including the Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and Animal characters, the Muppet film and television library, and all associated copyrights and trademarks, as well as all the "Bear in the Big Blue House" characters, television library, copyrights and trademarks. The parties have signed a binding purchase agreement and expect the transaction to close within two months, subject to receiving the necessary regulatory clearances. The transaction does not include the "Sesame Street" characters, such as Big Bird and Elmo, which are separately owned by Sesame Workshop. The deal also includes non-exclusive production and consulting agreements under which Henson will develop potential new programming featuring the "Muppets" and "Bear in the Big Blue House" for Disney.