Eisner objects to Disney's Pixar price
Steve Jobs as chairman of combined company? Plus, Ford's 'Way' and Blackrock's in play.
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NEW YORK (Fortune) - It's a percolating Monday folks ...
DISNEY: Here's the latest on the perhaps-to-happen, Pixar/Disney merger. The deal, to be considered by Disney's board today, has a high probability to go through, because Disney CEO Bob Iger -- bent on bringing "the magic back to Disney"-- wants it. But the price is a very high, $7 billion in stock. A source says Michael Eisner (who if nothing else is still a major stockholder) thinks that's too high. That case rests on the thought that when Disney was under attack from Comcast, Disney was claiming that its stock was undervalued. If that's the truth, then Disney (Research) should be placing a higher value than its current stock price on every share it hands over to Pixar (Research)..... Also there has been some chatter that Steve Jobs was slated to be chairman of Disney. As of now, that does not appear to be the case. And Pixar's creative genius, John Lasseter, is supposed to be joining Disney. But there's one knock on Lasseter, which is that supposedly he's spending a lot of time and energy these days on his vineyard. On the other hand, Lasseter is supposed to have a lot of very good people working for him.
FORD: The big restructuring is here. (Called "The Way Forward" which reminds me of the Chinese "Great Leap Forward," a spectacular failure of collectivization). Question is, will this save Ford? I think it could begin to. Bottom line is, Ford needs to get smaller. It's plants are only operating at 79 percent capacity, versus nearly 100 percent for Toyota in North America. Its market share has been slipping every year for the past ten years. It now has about a 17 percent share as opposed to a 24 percent share in 1990. Ford (Research) is some respects is healthier than GM (Research), and this could be the bottom for the nation's Number 2 automaker, and a time to get in the stock.
BLACKROCK: Don't know them? (Ticker BLK (Research)) They are one of the biggest money managers on Wall Street, mostly running bond portfolios, with some $452 billion under management. Company is run by one Larry Fink, known to be one of Wall Street's sharper pencils. Word is that Morgan Stanley (Research) wants to buy Blackrock, to add BLK's assets and Fink's know-how, perhaps, even making him successor to Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack. BLK has been on a tear, climbing from $40 to $127 over the past three years. (Now you know why MS wants 'em!) I think there may be more upside left to this one, before a deal is struck.
Loose Change: Sorry Seahawks, the Steelers are the feel good story of the year......Did you know that the word, 'amok,' is of Malaysian origin. Wonder how many other of our words are Malay? How about malay?....Saw "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" over the weekend. A nice small musical....