Next up on incoming
CEO Bob Iger's hit list: selling radio assets, brokering a new deal with
( PIXR) and buying back shares.
Sources say the Burbank, Calif., company is ready to announce plans to buy back a chunk of its shares, though specifics on the timing and volume of any buyback remain unclear.
Meanwhile, it seems that Iger continues to have the golden touch at the company. Propelled into his new role by outstanding results at the ABC television network, Iger has moved quickly to recast the company's strategy unit and befriend Pixar CEO Steve Jobs. That's a key effort because Iger is trying to get Jobs to renew a distribution deal that expires after next year's release of
Iger has also managed to make good with two once-peeved former board members who had launched a lawsuit contesting Iger's selection as CEO.
That aggravation out of the way, Iger can now focus on a new Pixar deal and a radio sale, both of which are high on the list of priorities.
Regardless of the fact that its radio stations maintain steady growth on the back of strong franchises like ESPN and ABC News, a sale of the stations and network could generate $3 billion. Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns are said to be working on a possible radio sale.
Interested parties include
, which is in the process of selling its TV station group. A report in
The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday also cited
as likely suitors.
A Merrill Lynch research note two weeks ago said that
some type of transaction appears likely.
Asked earlier in the spring about the possibility of selling radio assets, Iger said, "We've been in radio for a long time. It is extremely well-managed. As we've said in the past, we're always open to the possibility of buying or selling
assets with an eye to improving shareholder value."
At the time, Iger said the process of looking at assets across the company was an ongoing one but wouldn't comment further on any specific division. Also, Disney execs indicated at the time that they might look to buy back shares in coming months. Disney didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Disney was trading down 10 cents to $25.08 on Tuesday morning.