US: Comcast drops Disney takeover bid
Cable giant Comcast Corp is dropping its takeover bid for The Walt Disney Co, saying Disney management has made it clear it has no interest in putting the two companies together
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Cable giant Comcast Corp is dropping its takeover bid for The Walt Disney Co, saying Disney management has made it clear it has no interest in putting the two companies together.
The decision was announced yesterday by Brian L. Roberts, president and chief executive of Comcast, who said the Disney stance led him to conclude it was time to abandon the proposed merger.
Philadelphia-based Comcast stunned the industry Feb 11 when it offered stock valued at $54 billion at the time for the media and entertainment powerhouse. But Disney rejected the offer, saying it was too low.
"We have always been disciplined in our approach to acquisitions," Roberts said. "Being disciplined means knowing when it is time to walk away. That time is now."
The decision comes amid turbulent times for the powerful entertainment company, which owns ABC, ESPN, movie studios and theme parks.
The Comcast offer was made as Disney and its longtime leader Michael Eisner were facing pressure from shareholders who were unhappy with the company's financial performance and its stock price.
Shareholders made their dissatisfaction clear at the annual meeting in March when 45.3% of all votes cast withheld support from Eisner for re-election to the board.
But late Tuesday, Disney's board after a two-day retreat issued a statement giving its full support to Disney management, including Eisner and president Robert Iger.
Date Posted: 4/28/2004