Entries in Acquisition (4)


Avis to Purchase Zipcar in Near $500M Deal

Zipcar(PARSIPPANY, N.J.) -- Avis Budget Group announced on Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Zipcar, the world's leading car sharing network, in a deal worth approximately $500 million.

In a statement, Avis said it will pay $12.25 per share in cash, a 49 percent premium over Monday's closing price.  The transaction still needs to be approved by Zipcar shareholders and is subject to other customary closing conditions, but it is expected to be completed by the spring.

"By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," Avis Budget Group Chairman and CEO Ronald L. Nelson said.  "We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company."

Avis notes in its statement that car sharing "has grown to be a nearly $400 million business in the United States and is expanding rapidly in major cities around the world."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm for $4 Billion

Terry O'Neill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction valued at $4.05 billion.  Lucasfilm is 100 percent owned by Lucasfilm chairman and founder, George Lucas.

Under the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on Oct. 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying half of the consideration in cash and issuing 40 million shares at closing.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

Disney is the owner of ABC News. Its last big purchases included a $4 billion deal for comics giant Marvel in 2009 and a $7.4 billion deal for animated movie studio Pixar in 2006.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see  Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said Lucas.  “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.  I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.  I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.  Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Lucasfilm includes its popular Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. "Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years.  Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations,” Disney said in a statement.

“Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become president of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.  Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value  of this global franchise.  Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant.  Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future,” according to the statement.

“The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box office to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Instagram Users Alarmed by Facebook Purchase

Justin Sullivan/G​etty Images(PALO ALTO, Calif.) -- When 12-year-old Catherine Moorhead found out about Facebook's acquisition of Instagram she immediately texted her dad. "It ruins the purpose of Instagram! OMGosh!!!!" she typed on her iPhone.

Moorhead might be young, but she wasn't the only one typing her disapproval and sharing it with the world.

After the initial announcement on Monday of Facebook's plans to spend $1 billion on the photo-sharing site, you couldn't avoid the negative reaction on Twitter and Facebook, and even Instagram itself.

Photos of Dr. Evil were shared on the site and tons tweeted about their plans to leave Instagram. You can see a selection of the disapproving tweets on Buzzfeed and on ABC News' Facebook page.

"My whole 6th grade class is on Instagram," Moorhead told ABC News. "I think they might change it to be more like Facebook. If Facebook owns it, more people will be on it and I don't want creepy people following the kids who are on Instagram."

Some might think those child-like fears are a little extreme, but the reaction is just as strong from people five to 10 years Moorhead's senior.

"I personally feel like the North Korean army just occupied my hometown," George Ko, 18, said. "Instagram introduced many people to photography and new communities around special themes like #doorways. Apps like #hipstaroll developed in this sphere of not being forced to expose ones personal life, but one's artistry to the world. Facebook, on the other hand, is a network that was built to expose explicitly personal stuff."

Ko is joined by others on the Internet with the same pessimistic feelings, but there are those who are excited about the acquisition and the possibilities of what it could mean for both companies.

"Bigger team, bigger product. I'm just saying. And being optimistic," Jacob Alexander tweeted. "I think it's great as long as they keep it separate," Rolando Calderón expressed.

But the discontent was heard over it all, and the Facebook distrust seemed to drown out the rest of the choir.

A number of technology blogs provided tips on how to save and delete Instagram photos from the service in fear that Facebook would make them more visible under its different privacy policy.

"Instagram had a good privacy policy, but what is interesting is that Instagram (and many others) don't have any details in the privacy policy about what would happen during an acquisition," Anthony Mullen, a senior analyst at Forrester said. "Legacy data pre-Facebook will still be under the original privacy policy, but new content will be subject to a revised approach. Users, when faced with a disconnect of features across their pre and post FB Instagram photos, will likely acquiesce to having them aggregated under the new privacy policy."

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg made it clear in his announcement post that Facebook was planning to leave Instagram independent and keep the brand and app alive. However, that doesn't mean users don't see Facebook, which was once the small start-up, as the big bad corporate entity now.

"I think there's always skepticism when a large, profitable company takes over a smaller, not-yet-monetized start-up. Facebook is well-known for selling advertising and supporting marketer participation on its platform," Melissa Parrish of Forrester explained.

"Up to this point, Instagram has been 100 percent about the functionality and the users. There is no advertising on Instagram at all. Instagram users feel understandably protective of the service that has been simple and fun to use, and hasn't felt intrusive from a privacy or advertising perspective," she added.

But Mullen says the Instagram users have to face the reality. "Facebook buying Instagram for users is akin to having their landlord changed without any notification. It's jarring but something they have to accept – or move out. "

While users like Moorhead might be upset, she says she will go where her friends are. And that's precisely why Facebook paid $1 billion for the emotion-provoking, photo-centric start-up.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


CNN Reportedly In Talks to Buy Mashable

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- CNN is said to be in "advanced talks" with Mashable to acquire the technology and social media news website.

The New York Times confirmed earlier reports of the alleged acquisition, citing three people familiar with the talks.  Those people cautioned, however, that the deal may not go through.

Both CNN and Mashable have declined to comment on the matter.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio