In perhaps the most surprising developments in the string of Twitter-sale related stories we’ve had so far, Walt Disney Co. is now eyeing to lock in Twitter. According to a report from Bloomberg, world’s largest entertainment brand has already started working with financial advisors to look in to acquisition details.
Salesforce — another potential, and the most likely buyer as of now — has also roped in financial advisors for the deal. The report further stated that Twitter’s formal presentations to these companies will be sent out soon.
This is an extremely interesting development, both for Disney and Twitter.
For Disney this would be yet another strategic acquisition into a new-age media brand, as the company continues to project itself as one, which is transforming from being an old media (cable tv and stuff) one to a new-age media company. Disney’s $7.8Bn acquisition of Pixar — a decision CEO Bob Iger took months after his anointment — has proven to be more than just successful.
While Pixar was a complete buyout, Disney has continuously, time and again, has invested in new age media companies like Hulu video streaming service, digital media company Vice and Major League Baseball’s BAMTech, which provides the platform for online video services such as HBO Now. Interestingly, Twitter partnered with BAMTech for live streaming.
What the Twitter acquisition would also mean for Disney, is a stronger ad revenue. While Twitter may have had a stagnant user base over past few quarters, it has had a solid ad revenue earning. These earnings, if not up significantly, haven’t gone down much either. What could also fuel this acquisition is the general trend today, wherein most of the digital advertising money is being galloped by social media networks.
For Twitter, a Disney acquisition could be much more fruitful in the long run for two reasons — for one, Twitter would run under the umbrella of a media company, which could help it better position itself. This would help Twitter to continue to run its platform with focus on getting in more content from its users, and function like a rich media platform it is today.
Secondly, Iger has been a better to Dorsey for a long, long time. In fact, Dorsey invited Iger to speak to Twitter’s senior management recently (via Bloomberg) wherein Iger talked about how he transformed Disney into what it is today.
The Bloomberg report further states that 21st Century Fox Inc., Comcast Corp., Time Warner Inc. and AT&T Inc. don’t want to buy Twitter, according to people familiar with those companies’ strategies. Microsoft Corp. was approached to evaluate a bid, but isn’t interested, people with knowledge of the matter said.