Pixar Could Be A Disney Feature

    October 31, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Steve Jobs may be ready to let Bob Iger takeover the wildly successful animation studio for a price that could easily top $6 billion.

From “Toy Story” through “The Incredibles,” Pixar has had one of the most remarkable runs in Hollywood history. Every movie has made millions in domestic and international box office gross, and sold tons of DVDs.

Now, Jobs, whose other CEO job at Apple involves him much more deeply in the various business processes, could be ready to let Iger’s Walt Disney Company purchase Pixar, the New York Times reported today.

Disney CEO Iger hasn’t made an offer yet, and Pixar would likely command a premium over its $5.9 billion valuation. The Times quoted sources close to talks between the two firms in noting how Pixar’s partner could soon become its owner.

How much of a premium over Pixar’s market cap will depend on the performance of Disney’s computer-generated film “Chicken Little” at the box office. That movie debuts Friday, November 4th, and early buzz about the film has been very positive.

Disney has suffered the perception of a brain drain in recent years, as cost cutting and the closing of its Orlando-based animation studio have contributed to grumbling that the executive boardroom is friendlier to accountants than to the Imagineers who have created much of what Disney is to the world.

A successful run by “Chicken Little” would vindicate some of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s moves, and permits Iger to negotiate a more favorable deal with Jobs. If the movie tanks, the perception of Disney needing Pixar’s creativity more that Pixar needing Disney’s distribution and marketing power would push the price up higher.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.