Haim Saban, a worldwide pioneer and leader in the entertainment industry, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saban Capital Group, Inc. ("SCG").
A native of Alexandria, Egypt, Mr. Saban immigrated to Israel at the age of 12 where he attended agricultural school and served in the Israeli Defense Force. While in Israel, he built the country's premier tour promotion business.
In 1975, he relocated to France and established an independent record company that soon catapulted to the top of the European labels industry, selling more than 18 million records over a period of eight years.
Mr. Saban moved to Los Angeles in 1983, where he launched a chain of recording studios that rapidly became the top supplier of music for television.
Mr. Saban's foray into television began in 1988, when he formed Saban Entertainment, an international television, production, distribution and merchandising company. The company produced several major hits, including The X-Men™ and numerous other shows and products developed around Marvel Comics characters. Perhaps most notably, under Mr. Saban's guidance, the organization introduced to the U.S. the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers™ — a global phenomenon that to this day is one of the top selling boys' toy brands in the United States.
In 1995, Mr. Saban merged his company with Rupert Murdoch's Fox Kids Network, creating a fully-integrated entertainment company that combined Saban Entertainment's content and merchandising strength with Fox Broadcasting's network distribution.
In 1997, the Saban-Fox partnership acquired the Fox Family Channel, a fully distributed cable network, reaching 81 million homes. This partnership was restructured under the Fox Family Worldwide banner, which included the Fox Family Channel, the Fox Kids Network, Saban Entertainment, and Fox Kids International Network, a publicly traded, European based company with cable and satellite networks reaching 53 countries in Europe and the Middle East. Together they offered an unparalleled breadth and diversity of programming (6,500 negatives) and an extraordinary global distribution platform reaching more than 250 million homes worldwide.
Mr. Saban (along with Mr. Murdoch) sold Fox Family Worldwide to The Walt Disney Company on October 24, 2001. The deal, spearheaded by Mr. Saban, was notable as the largest cash transaction conducted by a single individual in the history of Hollywood.
Shortly thereafter, he formed Saban Capital Group.
In 2003, SCG led a group of investors that acquired a controlling stake in ProSiebenSat.1 Media, Germany's largest broadcasting group. Mr. Saban served as ProSiebenSat.1's Chairman of the Supervisory Board. SCG sold the group's controlling stake in the company in 2007 to private equity firms KKR and Permira.
In 2005, SCG teamed with Apax Partners and Arkin Communications to acquire a controlling stake in Bezeq The Israel Telecommunication Corp., Ltd., as part of the government's privatization of the company.
In 2007, SCG teamed with a group of investors to acquire Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the U.S., with the number one ranked Spanish-language television network.
Mr. Saban's passionate devotion to the philanthropic and political arenas reflects both his wide breadth of interests and his commitment to a strong relationship between the United States and Israel.
Mr. Saban and his wife Cheryl started the Saban Family Foundation in 1999, which supports medical, children's and education programs, including the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Soroka Children's Hospital in Israel, the John Wayne Cancer Institute, the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, American Israel Education Foundation, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and the United Friends of the Children.
The Saban Family is on BusinessWeek's list of the 50 most generous philanthropists in the US.
In 2002, Mr. Saban founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and he currently chairs its International Advisory Council.more » « less