Disney, Pixar to decide on further course of action on Monday

MUMBAI: The buzz over Disney looking to acquire Pixar Animation in the US is growing stronger. Reports indicate that if the deal goes through then Pixar CEO Steve Jobs could become a member of Disney's board.

The two parties will meet on Monday 23 January 2006 to discuss the plan of action. 

Job's has a 50 per cent stake in Pixar which is is worth over $3.5 billion. This would be more than enough to turn him into Disney's largest individual shareholder should he accept a stock swap. Disney of course would benefit in a huge way. Its animation division is already starting to feel some heat as the deal with Pixar comes to a close. The last film in its 14 year deal with Pixar is Cars which will be released later this year.

In the past couple of years there had been problems between jobs and former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Jobs had criticised Disney's creative and financial practices. He had accused the company of trying to squeeze the last penny out of hit franchises, regardless of quality. Iger however who took over has been keen to mend fences.

Buying Pixar could make Disney poorer to the tune of $8 billion. Whether Jobs will sell is doubtful reports state, given his investment in Apple, attachment to Pixar, and the potential cost to Disney. The other issue is whether Pixar talent like John Lasseter who directed Toy Story will stay should an acquisition go through. Disney's culture is said to be more restrictive. Last year Disney had struck a deal with Apple. Some shows like Desperate Housewives are available for download for Apple's video iPod.

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