Netflix Shares Climb on Talk That Disney Could Be an Interested Buyer
Shares of Netflex have jumped more than 4% since their open this week, as chatter about a potential buyout by Disney has spread through Wall Street.
The video streaming service has been a popular target for takeover rumors. In 2014, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban increased his stake in Netflix, saying the company was prime for a takeover. And then this May, investors speculated that Apple would be an interested buyer. Then in August, Alibaba was reportedly interested, though the Chinese Internet giant denied those claims. Analysts have also speculated that Netflix would be a good takeover target for Disney, since the older company has struggled to prop up its largest cable network, ESPN, as consumers continue to cut the cable cord.
Netflix would be a pricey acquisition. The company has a market cap of $46 billion, and according to noted Netflix bull and BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, it’s unlikely the company would sell for below $100 billion with such a valuation.
Apple, which has a famously large pile of cash—over $200 billion—could likely afford the purchase, though the most expensive buyout Apple has made was its $3 billion acquisition of headphone maker Beats.
“Netflix has been a rumored acquisition target in the past, and could be targeted by Apple or others as a way to accelerate a streaming video and/or content strategy,” wrote Baird senior research analyst William Power in a Tuesday note to clients. “Though timing and likelihood remain difficult to call.”
Netflix declined to comment to Fortune for this story. We have also reached out to Disney, and will update this story if the company responds.