Could Apple Buy Disney With Iger’s Return (No)
I’m taking my grandchildren to Goofy’s Kitchen for dinner next week at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. (Shh, it’s a holiday surprise.) The Disney-themed restaurant is one of several ways The Walt Disney Company generates revenue from its theme parks and characters.
A combination of my searches related to Disney’s restaurant and Bob Iger returning to Disney to take on the responsibility of CEO no doubt sparked numerous articles in my email inbox and news feed on my iPhone. Some of those articles centered on the rumor that Apple could once again acquire Disney.
It’s interesting to think about, but one report refers to this potential news as a sort of provocative headlines intended to get readers to click.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Iger were friends. Disney in January 2006 Disney acquired Pixar, which Jobs co-founded.
Disney re-appointed Iger as CEO three years after he stepped down. And it’s true that during those three years, Iger said it could have been possible to merge the two companies. Disney and Apple could have “gotten there.”
In an interview with CNBC, Iger said Jobs was passionate about “everything that Disney did.” Jobs appreciated combining “great technology” with “great creativity.”
Despite the skepticism, one Disney insider who has worked for Iger predicts: “He’s going to sell the company” because this is “the pinnacle deal for the ultimate dealmaker.”
Apple would definitely benefit from a Disney entertainment acquisition, and would leave the company to focus on theme parks. But for Disney, that means the company would lose a revenue stream.
“I think he’d welcome it — he’d be the last CEO of Disney,” a former top Disney executive told TheWrap, Yahoo Entertainment reported. The former executive notes that the two companies have “similar brand identities” and could benefit from a merger.
Under Iger’s leadership, numerous reports estimate Disney spent about $100 billion to acquire Pixar, as well as Marvel in 2009, “Star Wars” famed series from Lucasfilm in 2012, and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox in 2019.
Reports suggest that Apple does have the money to acquire Disney — “whether or not it would be wise to cut down its cash reserves that much. In practice, too, it would not cost Apple $175.4 billion to buy Disney, it would be more.”