Disney Says Restructuring Could Squeeze Financials, Buys In BamTech – Deadline
Disney said an upcoming restructuring under new/old CEO Bob Iger could result in impairment charges. It also noted that, as expected, it’s acquired the remaining 15% of streaming tech company BamTech it didn’t already own, paying $900 million. The news was tucked in a long year-end SEC filing today after a tumultuous ten days for the company.
“As contemplated by the leadership change announcement, we anticipate that within the coming months Mr. Iger will initiate organizational and operating changes within the Company to address the Board’s goals. While the plans are in early stages, changes in our structure and operations, including within DMED (and including possibly our distribution approach and the businesses/distribution platforms selected for the initial distribution of content), can be expected,” the 10K filing said. “The restructuring and change in business strategy, once determined, could result in impairment charges.”
Bamtech, now called Disney Streaming, was previously owned 85% by Disney and 15% by MLB. Disney had the right to buy in the rest of it by a 2023 deadline — five years after it acquired its original stake.
The lengthy filing that recapped the past year’s financials — Disney’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30 — didn’t have much else about the new regime beyond what’s been reported. The company’s board announced a week ago Sunday that Chapek and Iger was back effectively immediately. Iger addressed Disney’s staff a town hall yesterday.
“As previously announced, on November 20, 2022, Robert A. Iger returned to the Company as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and a director. Mr. Iger previously spent more than four decades at the Company, including 15 years as CEO. In announcing Mr. Iger’s appointment, the Company noted he has agreed to serve as CEO for two years, with a mandate from the Company’s Board of Directors “to set the strategic direction for renewed growth and to work closely with the Board in developing a successor to lead the Company at the completion of his term.” Mr. Iger succeeded Robert A. Chapek, who had served as CEO since 2020.”
One of the first things in Iger’s sights is DMED, the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution division, a new group created by Chapek and run by his also ousted protege, Kareem Daniel. The distribution hub, that controlled P&Ls and decision-making for all divisions, frustrated many veteran execs as well as notable members of the creative community.
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