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Starz Media Sells ‘Simpsons’ Animation House, Film Roman

Continuing to focus on its core business, Starz sells the studio to a group of investors led by former Film Roman president Scott Greenberg

Starz Media has agreed to sell Film Roman, the animation studio that has long produced "The Simpsons," to an investment group led by former Film Roman president Scott Greenberg.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although individuals close to the transaction said it involved all cash.

In addition to producing Fox TV/Gracie Films' "The Simpsons," Film Roman also produced Fox's "King of the Hill" and MTV's "Beavis and Butthead." It also produces Marvel Entertainment properties "Super Hero Squad," "The Avengers" and "Ultimate Spider-Man.

Starz has owned the studio since 2006. But now under the direction of Chris Albrecht, company officials say divesting Film Roman allows them to focus on their core strategic business: to acquire movies, and develop, produce and acquire original series, for its pay TV channel.

Last summer, Starz unloaded Overture Films to Relativity Media.

Under the agreement, the new owners will also acquire certain intellectual property and development rights.

Both Starz and Film Roman's new owners hope to have the deal closed by the end of the year.

Greenberg left Film Roman in 2008, joining prominent animation producers Mark McJimsey and Joel Kuwahara to co-found the animation company Bento Box Entertainment.

The new Film Roman investor group also intends to purchase Bento Box and combine the two companies under the management of Greenberg, McJimsey and Kuwahara.

"We have the utmost respect for the people of Film Roman and the work they produce," Albrecht said in a statement. "We wish Scott and his team nothing but success with this new venture."