“Disney’s Marvel Acquisition May Not Portend More Media Deals”
In the August 31, 2009 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Booz & Company Partner Christopher Vollmer (North America) says that Walt Disney Co.’s agreement to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc. reinforced Disney’s unique financial position and solid track record of integrating new business and brands into its sprawling portfolio of media and entertainment assets. “This speaks to the ability of Disney in particular to weather a difficult economic climate and have the economic strength to get a deal done in a climate like this,” said Vollmer. “They’ve shown through the Pixar acquisition that they can successfully integrate a creatively driven company, and they’ve shown with ESPN that they can manage other brands effectively.” Disney acquired Pixar Animation in 2006, and ESPN in 1995 as part of a deal for Capital Cities/ABC. But whether the Marvel deal raised the prospect of a new wave of mergers and acquisitions hitting the beleaguered media industry is still open to question. “There’s too much uncertainty around key parts of the market for some of the other players to feel that confident about the go-forward prospects for acquisitions,” Vollmer said.