According analysis from RBC Capital Markets, Apple Inc could potentially pull off a $200 billion plus takeover of The Walt Disney Company.
The takeover would create a company worth $1 trillion with “almost limitless opportunities in content and technology.”
“Recently, investors have increased their expectations that Apple could seriously consider acquiring Disney,” RBC Capital Markets analysts Steven Cahall and Leo Kulp wrote in a note to clients on Thursday.
The Apple merger and aquisistion rumor mill started last autumn, when Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer of Apple told analysts that Apple was “open to acquisitions of any size.”
Apple executives met with Time Warner senior management in late 2015 in a discussion that raised the possibility of a merger — before AT&T moved in on its $85 billion bid for Time Warner.
The Apple-Disney aquisistion roumors comes as analysts in the last few months have debated the possibility that Disney would make a move to buy Netflix — a highly leveraged transaction that some view as needlessly risky.
Would Apple shareholders support such a move? Assuming a 40% premium for The Walt Disney Company, the deal would carry a hefty $237 billion price tag.
If Apple investors balk, TWDC could consider spinning off assets like ESPN and the troubled Theme Park division to make the deal more palatable.
“We like Disney’s fundamentals. Assuming Apple sees the same thing and has the cash, investor anticipation of a prospective transaction only adds conviction to the momentum we see in Disney’s shares,” Cahall and Kulp wrote.
Shares in Apple closed at $141.05 on Friday, and The Walt Disney Company ended the week at $113.20.