NEW YORK (
unlikely will be bought out by
, according to analysts.
Speculation has been growing that Verizon is interested in acquiring Netflix in order to enter the streaming video market. According to
, Verizon is "very serious" about making an offer, which could jump-start a bidding war.
But analysts don't see a deal going through.
"There's no way the
Netflix board can accept an offer of $100
per share with a straight face ... when stock was near $300 just three months ago," said Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter. "And no one is going to make an offer that high."
Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible also said he believes a Netflix buyout is way out of Verizon's price range.
"Any buyer has to not only pay $4 billion for Netflix equity, but also has to pay another $4.5 billion for the content obligations that are likely debt," he said. "It is far cheaper to buy rights on your own than to buy Netflix. It is also far cheaper to buy Netflix's subscribers for $100 than to buy the company for almost $400 per subscriber."
On top of that, Netflix is losing money on streaming, and the brand has been tarnished, making an acquisition less desirable.
The rumor, it seems, was started by Porter Bibb, managing partner at MediaTech Capital. Last year, Bibb made a similar prediction about
"I can confirm that both Sony and Disney are in serious talks with IMAX about a takeover, probably at $40 per share or more," Bibb was quoted as saying.
But that rumor never bore fruit.
This also isn't the first time Bibb has said Netflix is poised for a takeover.
Bibb told CNBC in November 2010 that Netflix "absolutely" is a target and again in January of this year said the company may be acquired by a larger media company.
A more likely buyer for Netflix -- if Netflix is even a seller -- is
, Pachter said.
In September, rumors emerged that Amazon was interested in acquiring the company following the launch of the Kindle Fire and Netflix's announcement that it was separating its DVD and streaming businesses.
The belief was the e-commerce giant would purchase Netflix's streaming business only, but that idea was soon squelched when Netflix decided to cancel plans for Qwikster.
Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings may not view Amazon as a major threat, the company has been beefing up its streaming content, and Pachter said it could still be interested in acquiring Netflix.
Netflix declined to comment on the Verizon takeover rumors.
Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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