Disney has made a couple huge acquisitions in the past few years under CEO Robert Iger’s watch, headlined by the gigantic $8 billion deal for Pixar in 2006 and the $4 billion purchase of Marvel Entertainment in 2009.
But Iger isn’t done yet. He announced on a conference call Tuesday that although he feels Disney’s character lineup is unparalleled, he’s still looking to “buy either new characters or businesses that are capable of creating great characters and great stories.”
Disney has a few things to consider if it’s going to make yet another move for already-developed characters. Pixar’s characters were consistent with Disney’s existing contingent when it was acquired, but consistency in branding was a big talking point for the Marvel acquisition. How would testosterone-fuelled characters like The Hulk get along with the Disney princesses and that cute little mouse?
In this case, it went quite well because of how they were marketed, and Iger had even characterised the deal as “perfect.” The Marvel acquisition gave Disney a broader appeal, and it benefitted in areas like video games. It kept its more adult content branded as Marvel, and occasionally meshed the two together.
So what’s this next strategic move going to be for Disney? Iger hinted that he’s not looking to fill any specific holes and didn’t cite any specific targets. The Marvel move showed that he’s willing to take risks with his brand, so it should be interesting to see which direction Disney goes with its next acquisition. Will it take a shot at a giant like DreamWorks again to try to make a big splash? Or go for a smaller, out-of-nowhere deal for a company like Dark Horse?
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