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Rumors of Pixar sale to Disney resurface

updated 10:30 am EST, Fri January 6, 2006

Disney may buy Pixar

Rumors are circulating that to Disney or a new distribution pact between the two companies. Continuing talks have reportedly been migrating toward Disney acquiring all or part of Pixar, which would make Steve Jobs--CEO of Pixar and Apple Computer--a major Disney shareholder, and possibly the media giant's chairman. Some analysts have speculated that by selling Pixar, Jobs could focus on running Apple, while others doubt the executive is willing to sell even a part of Pixar, which he bought in 1986 from George Lucas for $10 million. Pixar's market value is now almost $7 billion, according to a report from bizjournals.com. [updated]

Under its current deal, Pixar creates and produces movies while Disney markets and distributes them worldwide, for a fee. The two companies share all costs and profits that turn up from the agreement. As Pixar has grown, however, Jobs has said he wants a deal with Disney, or another studio, that would allow Pixar to keep the profits from its films while paying its partner a distribution fee only, according to the report.

Past talks between Pixar and Disney fell through in January of 2004 as a result of friction between Jobs and Disney's then-CEO Michael Eisner. Iger, Disney's new CEO, has apparently been expressing interest in a new distribution deal to Pixar.

Acquisition possible?

Analysts are speculating about whether the rumored acquisition would benefit Disney, since it would probably pay a premium price for the film company.

"Even under optimistic assumptions, the deal would likely be dilutive to Disney for the foreseeable future," said Michael Savner, Bank of America Securities analyst. "We also expect that there could be integration/cultural issues," he wrote. "Arguably, what has made Pixar so successful is its independent culture and its singular focus on quality. The obvious risk to an acquisition is that both are sacrificed."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Bryson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    goodbye pixar

    If Disney gets control over Pixar's content, it will be all over for this golden goose. If there's one thing we have learned by watching both Pixar and Apple, is that once you get the creative control out of the creator's hands and into the bean counters and marketing drones hands, the true creation ceases to exist.

  1. DeepDish

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Pixar should buy Disney

    Pixar should buy Disney instead.

    If Disney buys Pixar, they will ruin it. Everything will be a crappy sequal direct to video. Disney use to be great, but lately they just suck!

  1. gunnar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    never gonna happen

    Steve is too much a lone wolf to go to Disney. It would tempt him as a big opportunity, but at the end of the day, I'm sure he'll realize that he can do more good and have more fame just building upon what he's got now. Disney just isn't a cool company and probably never will be again.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Steve Jobs

    It is well known fact that Steve Jobs would love, and is working towards being the next Disney. He is know to want to be the next Disney, but bigger and better. It is all in the book "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" I could see this deal happening if Steve somehow gets some kind of role in Disney. If history is any indicator if he gets any top level position at Disney he is a master at making people believe he is the man to be running the company. Just look what happened when he came back to Apple to be an advisor, didn't take long before he went from advisor to i-CEO to CEO. He would love nothing more than to be CEO of Disney.

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I don't agree

    Jobs wants to be CEO of companies he helped make great. I don't think he wants to play SOS for a company that his name will never shine through the glory of Walt's.

    Pixar won't sell while Steve is at the helm.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    But

    He may see this as a means to an end that he can make his own. Jobs didn't create Pixar he bought it. Disney is a struggling company in the midst of bad management.. a perfect opportunity for someone like Steve Jobs, and he knows it.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Steve Jobs

    He can help make Disney Great again!!

  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Disney

    The problem with Disney is the same problem that Apple had when they were going through problems. Nobody makes any clear cut decisions since nobody wants their name on any failures. There is no focus, no means to get to the promised land.

    What they need is someone that can lay down a map and start creating innovative products that people would crave for.

    Not that I would want Jobs to do this, but does that sound like anyone you heard of????

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Micro-manage Disney?

    For all the times you've heard about Steve Jobs micro-managing projects at Apple, do you really think he's the right guy to run Dinsey? Disney is far too large and diverse of a company for someone with his management style (er, temperment) to deal with effectively. Sure, Disney could use someone like him to help re-energize the part of the creative engine; but run the whole show? No way! And nobody would want him working for them either!

  1. rbsandka

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    let's be reasonable

    Why does this rumor keep cropping up every few years?

    Disney is a HUGE company. Disney owns ESPN and ABC. They operate theme parks. They produce broadway shows. They run a cruise line. They operate a vacation club (time share real estate thingy).

    The characters in Disney's animation may be the base for a lot of this, but the actual production of anmiation is such a small part of what Disney does.

    Why would Jobs even remotely be interested in running this kind of company? More to the point, who would think that he was even remotely qualified? Jobs is very good at what he does, but nothing he has ever dine at Apple or Pixar would prepare him for heading Disney.

    But, who knows. Maybe it will happen. I am just personally sceptical.

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