Apple is reportedly interested in expanding its media footprint in a big way, with the tech company apparently looking into the possibility of acquiring Disney.
The proposed deal, reported by Variety, would require approximately $200 billion in cash on the part of Apple, with the resulting company being worth over $1 trillion, and having “almost limitless opportunities in content and technology.” While that sort of price tag would cause most companies to balk, Apple is traditionally an uncommonly cash-heavy company, having historically preferred to maintain a larger percentage of its cash assets than most companies tend to do.
“Investors have increased their expectations that Apple could seriously consider acquiring Disney,” analysts Steven Cahall and Leo Kulp explained in a recent note to RBC Capital Markets clients. “Content is a major focus for Apple, target size is not an issue, and Disney offers an avenue to diversify away from hardware without diluting the strong Apple brand.”
The merger, should it go through, would almost immediately impact Hollywood, with Netflix being specifically cited in the analysis. In recent months, it was believed Disney was interested in acquiring the streaming content giant. Should an Apple and Disney merger instead take place, it would result in an immediate shift in the entertainment landscape, affecting Netflix directly due to the combination of Apple’s own streaming technology with Disney’s vast entertainment library.
Since Tim Cook took control of Apple, and particularly after the passing of Steve Jobs, the company has bought several outside companies, including Beats Electronics which it bought out in 2014. Last year, Cook stated Apple was “open to acquisitions of any size,” a statement that immediately fueled speculation as to potential deals the company might be considering.
Shares in both Apple and Disney stock have ticked up in trading today, following word of the rumored deal being reported.