Robert Iger indicates U.K. interest
Disney topper Robert Iger has indicated his interest in making further acquisitions in the U.K. — but declined to name names.
"I would say that without being specific, there are existing companies in the U.K. that we are looking at, but we don’t cite specific companies," he said on Wednesday at a London breakfast briefing ahead of the European preem of Disney Channel hit "Camp Rock."
Iger added: "We like companies that fit well in the ESPN (and) Disney brands. We like companies that have a face or future in new technology.
"We like companies that are likely to grow because they become part of the Walt Disney Co. We like companies that have solid management and growth of their own."
Asked whether Disney was interested in ITV, the beleaguered terrestrial web that is still Blighty’s biggest commercial player, Iger said: "Everybody’s looked at ITV, haven’t they?"
While NBC Universal and Sony have bought stakes in U.K. shingles, Disney has adopted a slightly different strategy.
It owns a minority stake in breakfast broadcaster GMTV and more recently acquired U.K. games studio Black Rock.
There also has been speculation Disney might be interested in acquiring Virgin Media’s 50% stake in pay-TV channel provider UKTV.
As for the bigger picture, Iger said Disney business was "resilient" and that its global theme parks had held up well despite tough economic conditions, although the crisis was not over yet.
The CEO added that the conglom had been helped "immeasurably" by its activities outside the U.S. and by the relative weakness of the dollar, which had attracted overseas tourists to its Stateside theme parks.