Apple to buy Pixar?

“Now that Pixar and Walt Disney have gone their separate ways, does it make sense for Apple to buy Pixar? After all, both companies are run by Steve Jobs. And Apple, with its huge success in the online music arena, is beginning to look more and more like a content company, as opposed to a pure hardware firm. Plus, Apple is one of the best marketers around,” Paul R. La Monica writes for CNN/Money.

“‘It’s an interesting idea,’ said Dennis McAlpine, an analyst with McAlpine Associates, an independent media research firm. ‘The basis of Pixar’s success is computer animation and Jobs is trying to get more into music and entertainment. It’s a little convoluted but stranger things have happened,'” La Monica writes. “Hey Nemo, Buzz and Sully! Want to check out my new PowerBook G4?”

“An Apple deal for Pixar is certainly doable from a financial standpoint. Apple has $4.8 billion in cash on its balance sheet. Pixar’s market value, as of Thursday’s market close, was $3.6 billion. One person on Yahoo! Finance’s Apple message board seemed to embrace the possibility, titling a post ‘Apple + Pixar= iCartoons.’ Just think of the cross-marketing opportunities,” La Monica writes.

La Monica writes, “Those surfer dude sea turtles from ‘Finding Nemo’ listening to the Beach Boys on their iPods. ‘Toy Story”s Woody using Apple’s new GarageBand software to compose a love song for his girlfriend Bo Peep. And how about Sully from ‘Monsters Inc.’ editing ‘How to Scare Kids’ videos with iMovie on his Power Mac G5?”

“‘Apple is a tech company that is morphing somewhat into an entertainment company but it’s still such a small part of the game for them,’ said Robert Routh, an analyst with Natexis Bleichroeder. ‘In the future, five or ten years down the road, a merger with Pixar might make more sense,'” La Monica reports.

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Even if Apple buys Pixar, there’s still the matter of financing new product, distribution, etc. They’ll still need a major studio. SJ is not the creative genius behind Pixar.

  2. I post here my comments from MDN. I think this is how it goes:
    I wonder if Steve and George has something happening together. Digital movie distribution for the movie theaters maybe? Apple could do it and the industry (especially Pixar) needs it. This would be kickass thing. Movie theaters and movie companies would save huge amount of cash if movies would be distributed digitally instead of films. There has been rumour flying around about Apple’s new projector… It could be movie theater size thingy imagine there xServe’s and xServe Raid’s and magic happens! Bye Disney ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    And here is my second post:
    continued..
    And if Apple delivers machines and service for the movie theaters and Pixar and movie companies delivers the content. There is just tiny step to deliver movies for the consumers so that they can watch those at home (and this with happen when VDSL is ready). First Steve has to start from the movie theathers though. Ouh What a JOY!

    continued..
    Movie companies have tried to digitalize the distribution with no success. Steve could do same hat trick with this that he did with music companies to greate iTMS. I really believe that this will happen.
    Though I don’t believe that Steve wants Apple to buy Pixar. Pixar is the money making machine for him. He owns over 55% of that company.

  3. La Monica is full of beans. Since when did Apple become a content company? Apple develops, creates, sells electronics in the form of computers, music players, other devices. Where’s the content? Movies? Nope. Music? Nope. TV shows? Nope. Books? Nope.

    Both companies seem to be doing very well on their own, don’t you think? What’s the advantage of marriage?

    More interesting is to see what leverage Apple can apply to other studios to begin the movie store version of iTMS. Next year, maybe. Apple needs a media streaming device first.

    La Monica’s dreaming in la la land. How do people who think like that get jobs where they can spew out that sort of dribble?

    Oh, wait– they’re doing it to get people to read their dribble. My bad.

  4. I wonder what the SEC would say if Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer (a company he does not own) paid himself $1.89Bn out of Apple’s cash reserves.

    This idea is so stupid it doesn’t bear entertaining. At $3.6bn, Pixar is not valued much behind MGM, which survives quite happily on its own whilst making and financing its films. I think a tie-in with News Corp. or Time Warner is far more likely.

  5. Sure, Apple has the cash to buy Pixar, but why would they? How would it really benefit them? Besides that, here’s a quote from SJ in an interview with BusinessWeek recently:

    “Q: Can you imagine a merger between Apple and Pixar someday, or any way in which they might work together to create a larger whole?

    A: They’re really different companies, with really different styles, in really different businesses.”

    OK, he didn’t actually say no, but I don’t see it happening.

  6. Not a good idea here. There aren’t many opportunities afforded to Apple computer should they acquire Pixar. It’s too large a chunk out of the cash reserves at this time.

  7. The fact that both companies share a CEO is not sufficient cause for a merger. Close cooperation between Apple and Pixar is a great thing for both companies, but Pixar hasn’t been a computer company for many years now.

    (Yes, I remember the Pixar Image Computer) brilliant bit of kit, that.

  8. what a load of crock. those 4.8 billion are Apple’s war chest, Jobs would be nuts to do this. And he would have to divest himself of Pixar shares first or he would run afoul with the SEC.
    He controls both companies at it is. Why even think of changing the arrangement? There is no advantage in it. Even if Apple were to start a movie download, how could seven Pixar movies jointly owned by Disney help?

  9. Apple likes their pile of cash, they say it makes Edu feel better (plus they can buy useful companies, not Pixar).

    All sorts of “conflict of interest” with _Steve_ deciding how much _he_ (Apple) should pay _himself_ for Pixar.

    Steve doesn’t think its a good idea (or he would have done it already).

    BTW, Pixar is moving to xServe render farms. After the xServe was announce, Pixar had job openings for a OS X switch director. Pixar says RenderMan works best on G5 (and ported it). Now xServes are G5.

  10. I see no reason for this merger at all. There’s just no point. If Apple and Pixar want to cooperate on something, then they jsut can. It’s not a problem. I’m sure Steve can get them to do that.

    What I do like about this piece is the suggestions for adverts. The Turtles with iPods would rock. They would be something utterly unique for a computer company to use too.

  11. Apple could use Pixar to market stuff: cartoonish Macs for kids, Nemo flavored iPods, etc.

    What would Pixar get out of the deal? Tech support? If anything, they might alienate some of their potential partners and/or customers who are Mac-haters. In any case, why would Jobs want to sell his share of a totally bitchin’ money machine? It wouldn’t really do anything for him, since he already holds the power in both companies.

    Not gonna happen.

  12. Apple’s price would fall dramatically…that cash represents about $13 a share, take that away and you take away the biggest asset they have. It also provides a nice saftey net for retail and R&D initiatives. At most you will see Apple products in new movies in exchange for favourable distribution rights over Apple’s iflicks movie store.

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