Disney announced late on Sunday that Bob Iger is replacing Chapek as CEO. Chapek was the CEO of Disney for nearly three years. He was Iger’s pick for the job when he retired from his first tenure as CEO.
Now, Iger’s new mission is to find another replacement. However, according to BGR, Disney insiders now claim that Iger’s ultimate goal might be to sell the company, with Apple being the most likely buyer.
The Sellers Research Group (that’s me) says this ain’t gonna happen.
There’s been speculation over the years that either Disney or Apple would be interested in such a deal. Previously, Iger noted that Steve Jobs was a close friend. A Disney-Apple merger might have been on the table if it weren’t for Jobs’s untimely death in 2011.
“He’s going to sell the company,” one Disney insider who has worked for Iger told The Wrap. “This is the pinnacle deal for the ultimate dealmaker.”
Landing a deal with Apple (or some other megabuyer) would also cement Iger’s legacy. “I think he’d welcome it — he’d be the last CEO of Disney,” a former top Disney executive told TheWrap, noting that the two companies have “similar brand identities” and could benefit from a merger.
However, I can’t see such a deal happening. Apple generally acquires smaller companies and rarely purchases big ones. And buying Disney would be really expensive.
Disney has an US$180 billion market valuation that would soar to a $200 billion premium if the studio were to be acquired. Could Apple afford it? Yep. Apple has a market cap of $2.389 trillion, but still….
Also, as noted by WDWNT, another roadblock could be resistance from regulators. “A deal of that size is likely to attract stiff antitrust resistance at a moment when regulators have stepped up efforts to block other recently proposed media mega deals.” Deals like the proposed merger of publishing giants Simon & Schuster and Penguin Books as well as Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard are drawing harsh regulator attention.