As a result of the 1956 Suez War, when Israeli forces invaded Egypt in collusion with Britain and France, Haim, along with his family, and much of the Egyptian Jewish community, fled to Israel. After almost going bankrupt in 1975, he moved to Paris, France. Later, in 1983, he moved again to Los Angeles. He currently resides in Beverly Hills, California and in Israel.
Saban started his career in 1966 as a bass player and manager with the Rock band The Lions of Judah (in Hebrew they are simply known as The Lions - Ha'arayot). In the interview to the Israeli businesses newspaper The Marker in 2006 Saban told the story that his involvement with the band started after visiting an outdoor music venue in Ramat Gan (In the Galei-Gil outdoor swimming pool where today theSheraton City Tower stands) and telling the manager that he has a band that could perform at the venue; however at that the time he had yet to have a band nor knew how to play. A friend told him about two brothers (Shuki and Haim “Chaymon” Algranati) who play quite well and lived in North Tel-Aviv. Saban managed to track the brothers by walking around their neighbourhood and locating their house by hearing them rehearsing. He offered the Algranati brothers to be their concert promoter; and later learned to play the bass and also joined the band.
In 1969 Dave Watts from the British band The Tornados joined The Lions. The same year, the band travelled to England and performed in night clubs in London. They received great reviews, which led them to be signed by Polydor Records. The band’s greatest moment came on 6 July 1969, when they were invited to perform on the BBC TV programme Colour Me Pop. The Lions record a single, "Our Love's A Growing Thing”, but it was never released in the UK by Polydor Records, which encountered some financial difficulties at the time. The band returned to Israel and Saban focused solely on being a music promoter.
In the early 1970s Saban moved to France were he was initially a music prompter then a producer (working with artists, such as Noam Kaniel, Mike Brant and Shuki & Aviva); he also started a record company with his friend Shuki Levy.
In France, he participated in the introduction of Japanese anime and sentai TV series in the country. He produced the scores and opening themes for UFO Robot Grendizer and Candy Candy. He also did the same work on early imported series from America such as Starsky & Hutch and Dallas.
The Saban Empire Edit
In the United States, he became a television producer, founding Saban Entertainment in 1988. During that time, Haim Saban and partner Shuki Levy became known for soundtrack compositions for children's television programs of the 1980s. Although Levy and Saban composed for their own properties (such as Kidd Video and Maple Town), they scored for other production companies as well (such as Inspector Gadget, The Mysterious Cities of Gold, M.A.S.K., Dinosaucers, Dragon Quest, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra: Princess of Power, and Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors). In 1998, The Hollywood Reporter reported that he did not actually compose all the music he is credited for.
Main article: ABC Family
On July 23, 2001, Saban announced that he and News Corporation would sell Fox Family Worldwide Inc for $5.3 billion to The Walt Disney Company. and on October 24, 2001, the sale was completed and the network was renamed ABC Family.
Saban, as an individual, profited about $1.6 billion from this sale. This is the largest transaction between a company and a private citizen ever.
On June 27, 2006, Saban Capital Group led a group of investors bidding for Univision Communications, the largest Spanish-language media company in the United States. Other investors in the Saban-led group were Texas Pacific Group of Fort Worth, Texas and Thomas H. Lee Partners. The group was successful in acquiring Univision with a bid valued at $13.7 billion (USD).
Shareholders have since filed a lawsuit over the handling of the deal.