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WALT DISNEY LOOKS TO MAKE A BID FOR THE PEACOCK
Published September 14, 1994
Disney is rumored to be "weighing a bid" of $5B for General Electric's NBC unit, according to several executives familiar with the negotiations. "Disney executives have been saying privately for the past few months that they were more interested" in purchasing NBC than the other networks, because NBC is the "most troubled network and therefore might be relatively less expensive to acquire." But some close to Disney "cautioned" that the issue of price "still remained a significant obstacle" in the talks (Jensen & Turner, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/14). Due to the price issue, Disney reportedly has also begun discussions with CBS. Although Disney has shown previous interest in acquiring a network, several analysts yesterday said that they "felt it unlikely" that Disney would actually make a deal at this time (Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 9/14). DISNEY VS. TIME WARNER: Disney's offer, which is for all of NBC, could present a "much more attractive option" for GE, which is also negotiating with Time Warner. Unlike Disney's offer for the entire network, Time Warner's bid is for 49% of NBC's programming operations for a reported price of $2.5B. While GE originally found Time Warner's offer appealing, they "may find it more attractive to unload the network business altogether" rather than hang on to stations as envisioned in the Time Warner plan. Disney also has a "much stronger balance sheet and a better reputation" for marketing than Time Warner (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/14).