Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney Deal Timing Not Exactly Magical for Wall Street

Wall Street is movie material for Hollywood, but when it comes to deal-making, Hollywood can do without the center of finance just fine. Or so it seemed Tuesday afternoon, when Burbank, Calif.-based Walt Disney Co. DIS -1.92% announced plans to buy the Star Wars franchise from director George Lucas for $4.05 billion – even as parts of New York, including the financial district, remained flooded, shut and without power in the wake of mega-storm Sandy.

On a call to discuss the deal, Disney’s investor relations chief Lowell Singer apologized for “any inconvenience” to those who had dialed in on short notice given the storm. Then Disney chief Bob Iger started talking up the acquisition. The analysts on the call gamely jumped in, although there was more than the usual share of “can you hear me?” before they asked their questions of the Disney executives.

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