Disney Eyeing EA?
EA spent much of 2008 pursuing an acquisition of Take-Two Interactive, but will EA become the hunted in 2009? That’s the speculation that is flying after the “Heard on the Street” column in Wednesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal speculated that the Walt Disney Company might be preparing to bid on EA.
The column comes after Disney CFO Tom Skaggs said a “strategic and attractive” purchase could be a possibility rather than developing more in-house games. Financial sites such as The Motley Fool jumped on the speculation. EA’s stock is certainly low enough to be attractive; it closed on Thursday at $17, slightly above its 52-week low of $15.50. EA’s 52-week high was $60.35. The company currently has a market capitalization of under $6 billion.
While there are certainly strategic aspects of the deal that would make sense (EA works closely with Disney’s ESPN on many sports games), it does bring up interesting questions. Would there be a culture class between Disney and EA? Does Disney understand the videogame market? Would this spur other major conglomerates in a bidding war for EA? 2009 could be very interesting, indeed.