This weekend, a report by the New York Post made a splash by suggesting that telecom Verizon was considering buying The Walt Disney Company, citing a “well-placed banker.” Naturally, The Post’s story has been met with skepticism. For example, RBC Capital Markets analyst Steven Cahall was quoted by CNBC as saying, “Though not fake news, we think the Post’s burden of legitimacy for publishing such ideas is below that of publications like the WSJ, Reuters and Bloomberg. However, he added, “But to its credit, we note that it occasionally gets these M&A calls right.” Nevertheless, Disney’s stock climbed $2 today before sliding some to close at $107.46.
So what does Verizon see in Disney? The rumor goes that the company is looking to beef up their content offerings to compete with rival AT&T, who is currently trying to acquire Time Warner. While that much makes sense, analysts are casting doubt on whether the deal would make financial sense for Verizon who would surely take on a massive amount of debt to make a deal. Furthermore, although ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney properties may be appealing to Verizon, it seems unlikely that the company would have much interest in owning domestic and international theme parks.
Both Verizon and Disney have declined to comment on the Post’s report thus far, but we’ll be sure to let you know if this odd story develops any further.