Walt Disney Productions bought 250,000 of its shares Tuesday from Shamrock Holdings, the diversified business enterprise of the Roy E. Disney family, for about $22 million. The sale reduced Shamrock’s holdings in the Burbank-based movie studio to about 4.5% from about 5.5%.
At the same time, the studio also bought 50,000 shares Tuesday from the estate of the late Edna F. Disney, widow of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, for about $4.4 million.
Shamrock spokesman Clifford A. Miller said the holding company’s sale of shares was done solely “to accommodate the family’s total financial structure at this time.” He noted that Shamrock recently acquired several new broadcasting properties, as well as a major agribusiness and food processor, Central Soya of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Miller said Shamrock has sold more than $200 million of bonds as part of the financing for its $300-million Central Soya purchase.
The sale of Edna F. Disney shares was made for tax-planning purposes only, Miller added.
Miller said the sale of part of Shamrock’s Disney holdings “in no way adversely reflects on the current Disney management.”
Roy Disney, nephew of the late Walt Disney, is vice chairman of the studio and took a major role in selecting its new management team last year. Last fall, he returned to an active role in overseeing its animation department.