The Walt Disney Company Acquires The Baby Einstein Company

BURBANK, Calif.–The Walt Disney Company has acquired The Baby Einstein Company, the award-winning creator of highly innovative media products, toys and books for babies and toddlers, it was announced today by Disney President and Chief Operating Officer Robert A. Iger.

The Baby Einstein Company, founded in 1996, develops and sells products that expose babies to various forms of human expression–language, poetry, music, art and science, through ways that are nurturing and fun.

The company’s product range includes videotapes, DVDs and CDs. In addition, the company launched a new collection of books and toys this fall, with partners Disney Publishing Worldwide and Hasbro Inc. Baby Einstein’s products are available worldwide through numerous retail channels, including specialty stores, mass merchants, mail order and on-line.

“The acquisition of Baby Einstein provides The Walt Disney Company with another high quality brand franchise which serves one of our core customer segments–families with small children,” said Iger. “We are particularly excited about extending from the ‘Baby’ series brand into a ‘Little’ series that will appeal to pre-schoolers. We view this acquisition as a core element of our company-wide learning initiative for children.”

The “Little” product line is scheduled to launch in late 2002. Baby Einstein’s founder, Julie Aigner-Clark, mother of two, who formerly taught English and art, and her husband, William Clark, will serve as consultants to Disney.

“Baby Einstein broke new ground in coming to market with stimulating media products for the baby and toddler crowd, and our success has been tremendous,” said Aigner-Clark. “We’re thrilled to be putting our grass roots brand in the hands of The Walt Disney Company, and to watch our ‘baby’ grow up.”

The Baby Einstein Company and its products have won numerous awards from major family and retail magazines and from educational foundations. Awards include the prestigious Video Magic Award presented annually by Parenting Magazine and the Video of the Year Award from Child Magazine. The firm’s newest video titles, Neighborhood Animals and World Animals, are winners of Parenting Magazine’s “Best Videos of 2001” Awards and join other favorites such as the Baby Einstein, Baby Mozart, Baby Van Gogh and Baby Shakespeare videos. The company is based in Lone Tree, Colo.