January 24, 2006
Newspaper Says Iger To Propose Buyout To Jobs
Written by John Boudreau–Mercury News
A marriage between Steve Jobs and Disney, a relationship sure to hasten Hollywood’s embrace of the digital world, could be announced as early as this morning.
Analysts and industry observers spent much of Monday discussing the expected deal, in which Disney will buy Emeryville-based Pixar. The New York Times reported that a stock deal for about $7 billion could be announced today. The Times, citing people briefed on the negotiations, said Disney’s directors were expected to give Chief Executive Robert Iger the green light to offer Jobs about $59 a share to acquire Pixar on Monday. Pixar, which has created blockbusters such as “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo,” would vote on the deal as early as this afternoon.
Jobs, Pixar’s largest shareholder, would also become a Disney board member.
A move by Jobs into the house of Mickey Mouse would radically change the venerable Hollywood studio, analysts say.
“There is no middle ground with a meeting with Steve Jobs,” said Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group. “You are either contributing to something he has thought of, or you are agreeing to something he has thought of.”
Disney, he said, would be smart to let Jobs’ vision influence the “old media” company. Jobs, CEO at both Pixar and Apple, has shown an ability to tap into consumer desires like few others, Doherty said.
“His magic is seeing value where others don’t,” Doherty said.