Disney rejects Comcast offer and backs Eisner

  • Business
  • Wednesday, 18 Feb 2004

LOS ANGELES: Walt Disney Co’s board has unanimously rejected cable TV operator Comcast Corp’s unsolicited takeover bid as too low and endorsed chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner and his strategy for the company. 

The Disney board said it would carefully consider any “legitimate proposal” that would creat shareholder value. Comcast, which vowed it would be a disciplined bidder, almost immediately shot back that its proposal was “compelling” and “sound”. 

Giving its backing to Eisner, the Disney board said it expected the company’s current structure and strategy would maximise shareholder value.  

Michael Eisner

Eisner has said Disney is doing well as a stand-alone content provider. Meanwhile rivals like Time Warner Inc and News Corp have struck deals to merge content and distribution, the same strategy Comcast proposes. 

“The board has confidence in the business, financial and creative direction of Disney under the leadership of Michael Eisner and his management team,” the Disney board said in a statement. 

“The interests of Disney shareholders ... would not be served by accepting any acquisition proposal that does not reflect fully Disney’s intrinsic value and earnings prospects,” it added.  

Comcast chief executive officer Brian Roberts said the company had decided to make its offer directly to Disney’s board after Eisner rejected it. – Reuters  

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