Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Fall Of The House Of Eisner II: Now For The Tender Mercies Of The Market For Corporate Control?

Someone, finally, is trying to buy the almost inconceivably mismanaged Walt Disney Company.

The would-be purchaser happens to be Comcast. Of course, Comcast notes that Michael ("Valeur d'actionnaire? Planification strategique? Cest moi!") Eisner already "had rebuffed its request for talks". At least the phrasing and volume of Mr. Eisner's retort will likely change once he has had time to speak at greater length to his attorneys about the fiduciary obligations of the directors of a Delaware public company finding itself "in play."

The Man Without Qualities has not exactly been a fan of Disney management - especially the likely pump-head Michael Eisner. "Disney in play." How long has the world justifiably waited for those words! We're really not quite there, yet. But close. So close.

What does it say for Disney that the first action taken by it's kennel of Eisner lap dogs masquerading as a board is early release of supposedly positive financial results? The results depend heavily on revenues from (1) Finding Nemo, a product of the now-defunct Pixar/Disney joint venture that foundered on Mr. Eisner's pointless accusation that Steve Jobs' Apple was aiding and abetting the theft of Disney's intellectual property, and (2) the unrepeatable Pirates of the Carribean, surely Disney's own best effort to prove the truth of the cannard "Even a blind hog sometimes finds an acorn." (Acorns are it. It's unlikely many analysts will award a truffle to this hog.)

Now if only "Disney bust-up deal" could gain currency! The value that might be realized by undoing so much of the Eisner legacy! Tossing out moribund ABC assets (except the accidentally-acquired ESPN)! The real estate occupied by that silly Florida wild animal park! Restoring annimation. The acquisition/bust-up/restructuring would be comfortably self-financing and then some!

You there on Wall Street, think of the fees!

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