The Walt Disney Company. The biggest corporation in whole entertainment. Their brands include Pixar, Marvel, ABC, ESPN, LucasFilm and A&E (which includes History).
Every now and then, Micky Mouse’s own get to mainstream headlines with some major acquisition, shocking the entertainment world. While Pixar’s buyout was somewhat unexpected due to some friction between the two companies prior 2006, both Marvel and LucasFilm came almost out of the blue, shocking us for a very long period of time.
It’s a while Disney does not hit the headline for similar reasons, even though they bought Maker Studios in 2014.
Anyways, here are five potential acquisition that Disney could make next.
Let’s start with the obvious one. It has been rumored for months that Disney is either planning or actually in talks for buying Netflix.
The rumor started because of Reed Hastings, Netflix founder & CEO: he is the name circulating in Hollywood and Wall Street to take over Bob Iger’s job, as the now Disney CEO is continuously postponing retirement, and the most recent postponing was demanded by Disney board apparently. People very well see behind that request lies the very complicated acquisition of Netflix.
As of now, Bob Iger extended his contract for one more year, slating his exit for 2019. In a way, I see this as possible: while there’s no doubt Netflix is a very big company, it’s nothing like helming The Walt Disney Company. You cannot just let Bob Iger retire and tell Hasting to just continue his work. If Disney announces the Netflix’s acquisition either now, at the end of the year or early 2018, Hastings would have a whole year to learn from the guy who made the company what is it now, and it would happen while The Walt Disney Company is managing the biggest movies of all time, Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel, plus Star Wars Episode IX. The extension may also be because of Infinity War, as having a corporate shake-up during the biggest production of all time might be a really bad idea.
Do we have to list why Disney would benefit from Netflix? They would own the biggest and most popular streaming service on the planet, they would own the best streaming technology on the planet, they would have a channel to monetize their library freely without contracts or anything. And let’s not forget the prestige of such an acquisition.
There’s a pretty hefty rumor going around the net that foreign investors cannot own Japanese companies due to a law preventing this. However, this little article proves is just a hoax, nothing more.
Now, this company is a little tricky as it’s owned by multiple companies including Sony and Bandai, and, while it owns a lot of anime rights, that’s all they are: anime rights. Depending on the deal the company made with the creators (which most of the times are the manga’s writers), they may or may not have feature film adaptation rights. While in some cases the original creator sold the whole package to Toei (Akira Toriyama sold all Dragon Ball rights to them), that varies IP by IP.
Yet, due to Toei Animation not costing more than a $5 billion, it’s probably worth investigating and decides if it’s worth the investment.
Potentially it’s great, even if right off the bat it would include only Dragon Ball, as in the hands of Disney could reach old heights, creating a huge film franchise. Yes, they would have to deal with 20th Century Fox to get the rights back, but I don’t think it would be a problem. It could open the door to multiple IP that could be taken advantage of. And taking advantage of such properties in theme parks? Endless.
That said, it’s very hard to happen, since Japanese adaptations haven’t worked really well in Europe, plus it might require acquiring Bandai Namco, and possibly Funimation. Yet, having Bandai would mean owning Tekken, which has the potential to be a great television series.
People might think this would be a stupid idea, but it’s not.
Since 2008, WWE programming entered the so-called PG Era, lining themselves with family programming. Despite a rocky start, since 2013 the programming finally reached such a quality that managed the WWE Network to reach 2 million subscribers worldwide.
I know, 2 million subscribers are not much, yet it would be a move with potential.
WWE right now is not worth more than the UFC was, so not more than $3.4 billion. Considering they sell out 90% of their live events, very good ratings for their weekly programming on cable, and the undeniable brand fame all over the globe, it would be a pretty interesting move from Disney.
While I’d see the mouse keeping WWE as a closed narrative environment as they did with Pixar, Marvel, and LucasFilm, by investing more capital they could drastically improve the network, attract more Hollywood writers to improve the content, expanding more in foreign markets and planning a more global touring schedule, which could turn out to be less stressful for talents.
That said, there’s no rumor or speculation this could happen. But I wouldn’t be surprised reading a headline regarding this at any moment.
Yet another Japanese company and probably THE Japanese company everyone would see Disney make a move for.
Since Wreck-It Ralph, everyone started speculating if one day Disney could actually make a move for Nintendo. While since then the speculation kinda slipped away (but ready to come back with Ralph Break The Internet), it still a possibility Disney could make a move.
Nintendo is at this time valued at $20 billion, a pretty hefty price tag, which may have the mouse think twice before a move.
However, such an acquisition would guarantee a definitive position into the gaming industry, which so far still the missing ring in the entertainment behemoth. Some of you might think it would be more logical to buy Square-Enix given the deal for both Kingdom Hearts and the newly announced Avengers games. Even an EA acquisition would make more sense.
While that is true, Nintendo has a huge character library that definitely beats the Square-Enix one in terms of popularity, which Disney would absolutely take advantage of for movies and shows, which is primarily their sole production.
Plus, if we keep the discussion in the gaming environment, it would be significant to have Disney producing hardware.
These are all the companies we could think of. Do you think there’s any other company Disney could be thinking about?