Disney looks at possible acquisitions in U.K.
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Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger told the London media today that he is considering possible acquisitions in the U.K. as the company looks to global markets for expansion, according to published reports.
Iger declined to comment on whether the company is interested in the U.K.'s largest commercial broadcaster, ITV, parrying the question by telling Bloomberg, ‘Hasn’t everyone looked at ITV?’ The company, home of the long-running soap opera ‘Coronation Street,’ is periodically the topic of takeover rumors.
Speculation that the London-based company is vulnerable to a takeover has been fueled by the company’s precipitous 45% stock decline this year. ITV rejected a 2006 offer for a controlling interest in the firm.
Disney has shown heightened interest in the market, acquiring the parenting Web site raisingkids.co.uk in August to bolster its portal in the U.K. Iger told Bloomberg the company has a ‘very strong balance sheet,’ and that U.K. is one of the ‘primary markets’ in which Disney sees opportunities.
Spokespeople for Disney confirmed the published reports.
--Dawn C. Chmielewski