Disney Interested In U.K. Expansion
Created 09/10/2008 - 23:00
At a meeting in London on Wednesday, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger expressed interest in making further acquisitions in the U.K., per VARIETY.
"I would say that without being specific, there are existing companies in the U.K. that we are looking at, but we don't cite specific companies," Iger said, at a breakfast briefing before the European premiere of the Disney Channel's CAMP ROCK. "We like companies that fit well in the ESPN [and] Disney brands. We like companies that have a face or future in new technology. We like companies that are likely to grow because they become part of the Walt Disney Company. We like companies that have solid management and growth of their own."
One that may have peaked their interested is ITV, a big commercial player that has had financial troubles. "Everybody's looked at ITV, haven't they?" Iger said.
Disney already owns a minority stake in morning broadcaster GMTV and recently bought U.K. games studio Black Rock. There have been rumors Disney is interested in acquiring Virgin Media's 50 percent stake in UKTV, a pay-TV channel provider. In contrast, conglomerates like NBC Universal and Sony have bought parts of U.K. film studios.
The current global economic slowdown has affected Disney, but Iger said the company's business is "resilient" and activities outside the U.S. have helped out "immeasurably." The dollar's relative weakness has also boosted tourism at Disneyland and Walt Disney World from overseas visitors.