Case | HBS Case Collection | March 2009 (Revised January 2010)

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

by Juan Alcacer, David J. Collis and Mary Furey

Abstract

Soon after Robert Iger took over as CEO of the Walt Disney Company in late 2005, he turned his attention toward Pixar, the animation studio with which Disney had worked since 1991 and was responsible for producing hits such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Disney's own animated film business had been in decline since Jeffrey Katzenberg left to establish rival studio Dreamworks and the business relied on revenue from its partnership with Pixar to maintain performance. With the Co- Production Agreement between the two studios coming to a close in 2006, Pixar was looking to negotiate better terms with another distribution partner. Could Disney risk losing them?

Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Animation Entertainment; Film Entertainment; Contracts; Distribution; Partners and Partnerships; Vertical Integration; Motion Pictures and Video Industry;

Citation:

Alcacer, Juan, David J. Collis, and Mary Furey. "The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?" Harvard Business School Case 709-462, March 2009. (Revised January 2010.)