Entertainment & Media

Apple May Be Looking to Buy the Walt Disney Company

According to Yahoo Finance, many industry insiders are speculating that Apple could be looking to buy the Walt Disney Company…

Apple’s cash pile of more than $200 billion is a favorite topic of investors, bloggers, and traders. It might be the largest cash reserve for any private company in history. So what is Apple going to do with all that dough?

One theory is that Apple will use its stockpile to buy Disney, according to RBC analyst Steven Cahall:

“Bulls think it portends well for a swan song exit via a sale to a giant like AAPL,” Cahall wrote in a note sent out to clients on Friday.

After all, we are living in a world where “content is king.” Currently, there is a battle raging among content providers for your eyeballs. Content providers, want you hooked and ready to consume more of your favorite content and all of the other licensed products that go along with it.

When analysts and investors think of content, Disney is the first name that comes to mind.

Disney’s “Frozen” is the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Additionally, five of the 10 highest grossing films of 2016 were Disney movies: “Captain America: Civil War” was the highest grossing film of 2016 with 1.153 billion in revenue, also included were, “Finding Dory”, “Zootopia”, “The Jungle Book”, and “Star Wars: Rogue One.”

RBC is not the only one speculating an Apple takeout of Disney is a possibility.

In her fourth-quarter investor letter for 2016, Samantha Greenberg, founder of hedge fund Margate Capital, raised the same possibility, describing the company as a “logical acquisition target” for Apple:

Apple has talked about the benefit Apple sees when it owns exclusive content, and owning Disney would reduce Apple’s exposure to product cycles, expanding AAPL’s valuation multiple…It would also be an accretive use of Apple’s cash and even more so if Apple’s $200Bn of offshore cash can be repatriated favorably.
Additionally, in November 2016, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone predicted that if Disney were to spin-off ESPN, Apple could buy it.

“Fundamentally, Tim Cook is a global player, and fundamentally, ESPN is a domestic service,” Malone said, that Apple and Disney would be a better fit without ESPN because then they would both be global players without domestic ESPN holding them back.

While the likelihood of such a deal might be a long shot, it is interesting to ponder what such a deal could mean for both companies.

Stay tuned for more information on this story as it becomes available.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

44 Comments

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  • I’ve seen first hand what happens to a company when another who doesn’t fully understand how the business works buys them out. Total disaster follows for the employees, the product and the customers.

    Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ll sell my Disney stock and run away as fast as possible.

  • Will never happen. Just because 2 people think it doesn’t mean jack squat!
    I bet those two people love the attention they are getting from this.

  • Since I own both stocks, I can see the immediate benefit to Disney stock which is stagnant. Not sure if not having independence from Apple is helpful in the long run. Apple extracts much higher margins than Disney. They will look for efficiencies in Disney that might not be possible thus starving the golden goose.

  • I would boycott Disney and all its products for the rest of my life, if that happen, plus Walt would not only roll over in his Gave, he would probably amansipate himself from his own company

    • What fairy tale world do you live in? It’s a for-profit company. It’s amazing the amount of fan boys that can’t seem to understand that Disney isn’t your friend, they are a business and they will do whatever it takes to create revenue, and if they can’t keep that up, then they will sell to the highest bidder so that those involved make a profit.

      Get a clue kid.

    • Is there a line in the article that talks about killibg puppies as part of this process because that’s the only conceivable way a reaction that ridiculous would be warranted.

  • i refuse to spend my hard earned $$ to go to Apple World … just sayin’ … i’d have to sell my collectibles and give up my disney addiction …

  • As a hard core Disney Addict, I can imagine the horror that would follow this, let alone the ticket prices…I’d be done. :(

  • I don’t believe a word of this. I feel Disney’s net value is more than that. If you add the films, the parks, the media companies, the cruiselines, and everything else it has to be mlre than 200 billion. Their movies last year alone brought in almost 5 billion worldwide, and after one week Beauty and the Beast is over 500 million. Dont forget the billions Disney paid for Marvel and Star Wars. One also has to look at potential revenue as well. Countless new Star Wars and Marvel films already in production and set to release. I just dont think 200 billion is enough.

    • Disney’s market value is $177 billion as of today. Just look at any finance site and they will tell you the market cap. If Apple (or any other company) thinks Disney is undervalued, then buying the company would be an attractive financial move. But it’s all driven by Wall Street.

  • Come on. You’re just copying an article in it’s near entirety that only has one source without providing any other. It’s a weak speculation based around the fact that “they have a lot of money.” I respect this site and love what you all do but come on, this isn’t even journalism.

    • Umm it’s a blog, that’s what a blog does. It caters to a specific interest so it includes things that are prevalent to specific interests. In this case it’s a mixture of articles from legit sources that reference Disney, food/attraction reviews, and rumors. Tom has never tried to portray this as a legitimate news site. If he did, I fully believe there would’ve been an article on the conspiracy to remove Ken’s Honey Dijon from the parks.

    • It’s a published report by RBC analyst Steven Cahall. He presumably gets paid a lot of money to opine on Disney stock. Would you rather we simply ignore such information?

      • Well since it’s not actually news, just one person making a rumor up, yeah that’s exactly what you should do.

  • As far as Disney theme parks, NOBODY could be worst than Disney has been. Not sure how well their media outfit would run Disney Media, which is where Disney has put all their attention. Then agin, on the cheap, make quick money side.

    • Yet here you are Larry. Still commenting on a Disney news site. Why is that Larry? What’s going on in your crap life Larry? Why are you so pathetic and whiny Larry? Huh Larry, why are you such a loser?

    • I happen to think Larry is right. Disney is doing a pretty crappy job in Orlando with their theme parks. Apple might do better.

    • Well we all have to suffer your crap for however long the library lets you use the computer before scaring you away because you smell like pee and haven’t showered in a year. My point is that we all have hardships.

  • Hope somebody buys the theme parks, Disney has problems. Might be good for fresh outlook, but I think Disney and Apple boards share a lot of people.