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Disney not looking for buyers, Iger says

Walt Disney Co. will consider any legitimate takeover proposals but is not looking for buyers, chief operating officer Robert Iger said in a CNBC interview Thursday.
/ Source: Reuters

Walt Disney Co. has not put a "for sale" sign on its front door, Disney president and chief operating officer Bob Iger said on Thursday, adding that the company did not plan to reopen talks with Pixar Animation Studios Inc. on a new movie distribution deal.

Disney's board on Monday rejected a $49 billion all-stock takeover bid by No. 1 cable company Comcast Corp. but said it would carefully consider any legitimate proposal.

"There is a difference between being open to proposals that come along and having a for sale sign on the door. A big difference for that matter," Iger told CNBC in an interview.

When asked if Disney was considering making acquisitions of its own to deter a takeover, Iger said the company's board was confident with the current structure.

"I think that suggests the company does not believe that it is imperative for us to make the kind of moves that you suggested we might be considering," he said.

Iger, who sits on the Disney board, poured cold water on speculation that the company, under pressure because of the Comcast bid, would resume talks with Pixar that were called off three weeks ago.

"I think it would be unlikely that we would reopen talks" with Pixar, he said, arguing that Pixar's offer did not make financial sense for Disney.

Pixar created last year's top box office draw, the computer-animated fish story "Finding Nemo," and its current deal with Disney covers two more films, due this year and in 2005.

Pixar Chief Executive Steve Jobs two weeks ago also said that resuming talks with Disney was very unlikely.