Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company Announces Additions to Its Studio Entertainment Management Team

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced that several senior film executives of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21st Century Fox” —NASDAQ: FOXA, FOX) are joining Disney’s Studio Entertainment management team, conditional upon closing of Disney’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

 “We’re pleased that these talented executives will be joining our incredible team of studio leaders once the acquisition of 21st Century Fox is completed,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Under Alan Horn’s leadership, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm have reached unprecedented levels of creative and box-office success, and adding Fox’s impressive film brands and franchises to our studio will allow us to create even more appealing high-quality entertainment to delight audiences.”

“The addition of these respected film groups under the umbrella of The Walt Disney Studios will create endless possibilities as we continue to deliver first-rate motion pictures to audiences around the world,” said Mr. Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “This is an experienced group of executives, and Alan Bergman and I look forward to welcoming them to our leadership ranks upon completion of the acquisition.”

Reporting directly to Mr. Horn will be:

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  • Emma Watts, Vice Chairman, Twentieth Century Fox Film and President, Production, Twentieth Century Fox
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  • Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, Chairmen, Fox Searchlight Pictures
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  • Elizabeth Gabler, President of Production, Fox 2000

Reporting to Mr. Horn and Ms. Watts will be:

        • Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird, Co-Presidents, Fox Animation
        • Vanessa Morrison, President, Fox Family

The executives will join Mr. Horn’s existing leadership team that includes:

        • Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios
        • Sean Bailey, President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production
        • Ed Catmull, President, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
        • Jennifer Lee, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios
        • Pete Docter, Chief Creative Officer, Pixar Animation Studios
        • Kevin Feige, President, Marvel Studios
        • Louis D’Esposito, Co-President, Marvel Studios
        • Kathleen Kennedy, President, Lucasfilm
        • Ken Bunt, President, Disney Music Group
        • Thomas Schumacher, President & Producer, Disney Theatrical Group

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox has received formal approval from shareholders of both companies, and Disney and 21st Century Fox have entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that allows the acquisition to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. The transaction is subject to a number of non-U.S. merger and other regulatory reviews.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks; Studio Entertainment; Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products; and Direct-to-Consumer and International. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $55.1 billion in its Fiscal Year 2017.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

Management believes certain statements in this release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance as of the time the statements are made. Management does not undertake any obligation to update these statements.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including restructuring or strategic initiatives (including capital investments or asset acquisitions or dispositions), as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including:

      • changes in domestic and global economic conditions, competitive conditions and consumer preferences;
      • adverse weather conditions or natural disasters;
      • health concerns;
      • international, political, or military developments; and
      • technological developments.

Such developments may affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, affect:

  • the performance of the Company’s theatrical and home entertainment releases;
  • the advertising market for broadcast and cable television programming;
  • demand for our products and services;
  • expenses of providing medical and pension benefits;
  • income tax expense;
  • performance of some or all company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products; and
  • the completion of the pending transaction with 21CF.

Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2017 under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” in the Company’s Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 30, 2017 under Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and subsequent reports.


The Walt Disney Company Announces Amendments to Terms of Exchange Offers for 21st Century Fox America, Inc.

The Walt Disney Company (“TWDC”) (NYSE: DIS) announced today amendments to certain terms and conditions of the previously announced (i) offers to exchange (the “Exchange Offers”) any and all outstanding notes (the “21CFA Notes”) issued by 21st Century Fox America, Inc. (“21CFA”) for up to $18,128,740,000 aggregate principal amount of new notes to be issued by TWDC Holdco 613 Corp. (“New Disney”, and such new notes, the “New Disney Notes”) and cash and (ii) related consent solicitations (the “Consent Solicitations”) being made by New Disney on behalf of 21CFA to adopt certain proposed amendments (the “Proposed Amendments”) to the indentures governing the 21CFA Notes (the “21CFA Indentures”).

New Disney has amended the terms and conditions of the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations to provide potential additional flexibility to holders of 21CFA Notes, as follows:

If New Disney has received at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on October 19, 2018 (as the same may be extended, the “Early Tender Date”), the requisite number of consents to adopt the Proposed Amendments with respect to all three 21CFA Indentures, then:

(1) tenders of 21CFA Notes made pursuant to the Exchange Offers (but not consents delivered pursuant to the Consent Solicitations) may be validly withdrawn at or prior to the Expiration Date (instead of no withdrawals being permitted after the Early Tender Date except as required by law, as originally proposed); and

(2) the exchange consideration for each $1,000 principal amount of 21CFA Notes tendered after the Early Tender Date and not validly withdrawn at or prior to the Expiration Date will equal $1,000 principal amount of New Disney Notes of the applicable series (instead of $970 principal amount of New Disney Notes of the applicable series, as originally proposed).

As originally proposed, only holders who tender and do not validly withdraw 21CFA Notes at or prior to the Early Tender Date will be eligible to receive the $1.00 cash portion of the Early Tender Premium (as defined in the offering memorandum and consent solicitation statement dated October 5, 2018 (as amended by a supplement dated October 15, 2018, the “offering memorandum and consent solicitation statement”)) for each $1,000 principal amount of 21CFA Notes. On the settlement date for the Exchange Offers, such cash payment will be paid to such tendering holders, even if on such date such person is no longer the beneficial owner of such 21CFA Notes.

Except as described in this press release, the terms of the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations remain as previously announced. The Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations are being made pursuant to the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the offering memorandum and consent solicitation statement and the related letter of transmittal (as amended by a supplement dated October 15, 2018, the “letter of transmittal”), and are conditioned upon the closing of TWDC’s acquisition (the “Acquisition”) of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (“21CF”), which condition may not be waived by New Disney, and certain other conditions that may be waived by New Disney.

The Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations will expire at 12:01 a.m., New York City time, on November 5, 2018 (as the same may be extended, the “Expiration Date”). The settlement date for the Exchange Offers is expected to occur promptly after the Expiration Date and is expected to occur on or about the closing date of the Acquisition. The closing of the Acquisition is expected to occur in the first half of calendar year 2019.

Documents relating to the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations will only be distributed to eligible holders of 21CFA Notes who complete and return an eligibility form confirming that they are either a “qualified institutional buyer” under Rule 144A or not a “U.S. person” and outside the United States under Regulation S for purposes of applicable securities laws. The complete terms and conditions of the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations are described in the offering memorandum and consent solicitation statement and letter of transmittal, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Global Bondholder Services Corporation, the exchange agent and information agent in connection with the Exchange Offers and Consent Solicitations, at (866) 470-3900 (U.S. toll-free) or (212) 430-3774 (banks and brokers). The eligibility form is available electronically at: http://gbsc-usa.com/eligibility/disney.


The Walt Disney Company Donates $1 Million in Humanitarian Aid to Support Communities Impacted by Hurricane Michael

The Walt Disney Company today announced it is contributing $1 million to aid in relief efforts across Florida’s Gulf Coast region and other areas impacted by Hurricane Michael. The donation will support disaster response and recovery efforts through the Florida Disaster Fund managed by the Volunteer Florida Foundation.

“The families and communities impacted by this devastating hurricane need our help as they begin to rebuild,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “Through today’s $1 million contribution, and other relief efforts in the weeks and months ahead, we will stand with our Gulf Coast neighbors as they recover from this tragic storm.”

In addition to Disney’s donation announced today, contributions from Disney employees to eligible relief and recovery organizations will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.

Disney works on an ongoing basis with numerous nonprofit organizations on emergency preparedness efforts, including sharing lifesaving information with families before and during emergencies, having supplies prepositioned and at-the-ready to respond to natural disasters, and providing resources to activate large-scale responses in the event of a disaster.


Forbes Ranks Disney Among World’s Best Employers for 2018

The Walt Disney Company ranks high on Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Best Employers for 2018, placing fourth on the list that is based on Forbes’ Global 2000 rankings of publicly traded companies in 60 countries around the world. The World’s Best Employers list takes into account such factors as image, working conditions and diversity to determine how employees regard their own employer, as well as other companies they may admire.

The 2018 list was determined by an analysis of more than 430,000 recommendations from employees who were asked to rate their own employer, reveal how likely they would be to recommend their company to a friend or relative and also provide insights about additional employers they admire. The 500 highest-rated employers are listed at Forbes.com.

In September, The Walt Disney Company took the top spot on Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Regarded Companies for 2018, which studies corporate reputation, including how a company is perceived as an employer.

The Company recently launched Disney Aspire, a groundbreaking initiative that gives hourly employees access to a variety of education options—from high school completion and English language learning to vocational and trade programs and bachelor’s and master’s degree. The ongoing program is intended to unlock new doors for more than 80,000 cast members and employees.

Additionally, more than 10,000 veterans have joined The Walt Disney Company through the Heroes Work Here program since the companywide initiative launched in 2012. Disney also helps create opportunities for servicemen and women elsewhere through its Veterans Institutes, which present tools and resources that other employers can reference and use as they establish their own military hiring and development programs. A sixth Disney Veterans Institute was held in Dallas, Texas, on September 18.

To learn more about working at Disney and how you can be part of the story, visit DisneyCareers.com or follow The Walt Disney Company on LinkedIn.


2018 Disney Accelerator Demo Day to Livestream on ABCNews.com

On Wednesday, October 10, The Walt Disney Company will showcase the companies participating in the 2018 Disney Accelerator program, which connects select companies from around the world with the creativity, imagination and expertise of Disney and gives them unique access to the Company’s leadership team, mentorship and support. This year’s participants include an edtech company based in India, a renewable power company from New York City and an augmented reality platform that brings people together in new and exciting ways. These companies and their fellow 2018 participants will share a look at their bright futures during the fifth annual Demo Day; the event will be livestreamed worldwide on ABCNews.com, beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT.

“Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of working with leading entrepreneurs from around the world and exploring collaborations with the potential to change the landscape of media and entertainment,” said Michael Abrams, Senior Vice President, Innovation, The Walt Disney Company. “Our portfolio of Disney Accelerator companies has collaborated with our businesses to drive innovation, developing cutting-edge technology and creating incredible new products. We look forward to continuing to multiply those efforts industry-wide for years to come.”

The Disney Accelerator 2018 speakers include:

  • Ethan Agarwal, Founder and CEO, Aaptiv: a leading provider of premium digital wellness content with a fast-growing community of over 200,000 members who take more than 30,000 of Aaptiv’s innovative audio guided classes each day.
  • Pravin Prakash, Co-Founding Student and Chief Marketing Officer, BYJU’s: India’s largest edtech company that is reinventing how students learn through its learning app with personalized video.
  • Ben Keighran, Founder and CEO, Caffeine: a social broadcasting platform for live gaming, entertainment, and creative arts.
  • Joanna McFarland, Co-founder and CEO, HopSkipDrive: a leader in technology-enabled ride services for kids, serving families, K–12 schools, nonprofits and businesses that serve children.
  • Anjney Midha, Co-Founder and CEO, Ubiquity6: a massively multiplayer augmented reality platform focused on bringing people together in physical spaces.
  • Jessica O. Matthews, Founder and CEO, Uncharted Power: an award-winning renewable power company that specializes in harnessing the energy from motion to create entire ecosystems of power for communities around the world.
  • Noah Horton, Founder and CEO, Unsupervised: a company that helps teams find hidden insights in their data. Unsupervised has built an AI based on unsupervised learning that finds actionable insights in data without requiring human guidance or supervision.

This year’s Demo Day will also include a TED fireside chat with Fadi Chehadé, a Partner at ABRY Partners, who serves on the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution advisory board and is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. Fadi is a serial entrepreneur, having built and sold three Internet content delivery companies including the AI company Vocado acquired by Oracle, and is the former CEO of ICANN and former General Manager of IBM Global Technology Services in the Middle East and Africa.

Since the launch of Disney Accelerator in 2014, numerous companies have continued to collaborate with various divisions of the Company on a wide range of innovative, industry-leading products:

  • littleBits had the No 1 tech toy on Amazon during last year’s holiday season with the Droid Inventor Kit and this summer launched the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, which lets kids create and customize high-tech hero gear and a unique Super Hero identity using littleBits electronic blocks and the littleBits app.
  • The VOID and ILMxLAB, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, created the location-based hyper-reality experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which has launched in several locations around the world; and The VOID and ILMxLAB also recently announced two upcoming multi-sensory, fully immersive experiences. Ralph Breaks VR will debut this fall, and a new adventure from Marvel Studios is coming in 2019.
  • Epic Games, developers of Unreal Engine and Fortnight, is collaborating with Lucasfilm to bring the power of Epic’s Unreal Engine real-time rendering to live-action production for the first time ever on a series for Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer streaming service launching late next year.

The Disney Accelerator Demo Day will be livestreamed worldwide on ABCNews.com and ABC News mobile and OTT apps for Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV on October 10 at 2:30 p.m. PT.