CEO of Entertainment Studios Byron Allen has offered The Walt Disney Company $10 billion to purchase ABC, FX, National Geographic, and local stations, Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg’s source, “a person familiar with this proposal,” says it is a preliminary offer that could change. Allen based the offer on the assumption that the channels generated $1.25 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization over the past 12 months. Allen would change the offer if that number is lower or higher. He would work with banks and private equity firms to finance the acquisition.
The source also said that, if Allen were to purchase Disney’s stations, he may sell the local TV stations he currently owns that aren’t affiliated with ABC.
In the past several years, Allen has acquired many local stations, as well as The Weather Channel. However, as Bloomberg notes, he has also tried and failed to purchase other media properties and his Allen Media LLC is in debt.
In an interview with David Faber on MSNBC’s “Squawk Box” back in July, Disney CEO Bob Iger agreed with Faber that ABC “may not be core” to The Walt Disney Company, and said that they have to be “open-minded” to potentially selling their TV assets — a comment which basically put them on the market.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Disney was having “exploratory talks” about selling ABC and its eight local TV stations to Nexstar Media Group. Disney released the following statement:
While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded.
Statement from The Walt Disney Company
Disney’s stock prices hit a three-year low back in August 2023, and analysts have suggested breaking up the company is the best option to turn things around. Disney has also dodged persistent rumors that a sale of the company to Apple is being discussed, though Iger has refused to entertain the notion.