Byron Allen, who last month made a $10 billion bid to buy FX, National Geographic, ABC Network, and the Disney-owned affiliates, reiterated earlier this week that he’s ready and willing to make a deal with the media giant.
“I think ABC’s a real possibility. They say they’re not ready,” Allen said at the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery’s Visionary Ball on Wednesday night, according to a report from Variety. “When they’re ready I’m going to chase it down like a lion chases down a gazelle.”
Earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that he would be open to selling off some of the company’s cable networks and local ABC stations. That prompted Byron Allen, whose Allen Media Group owns of the Weather Channel, Local Now and other affiliates, to reach out to Disney.
The Allen Media Group offer is based on the assumption that these networks generate $1.25 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to Bloomberg, citing to a person familiar with the offer. This comes after Allen was reportedly unsuccessful in buying BET earlier this year after Paramount decided not to sell the network. Cord Cutters News has confirmed with the Allen Media Group that they did make the offer.
Disney, for its part, said it isn’t ready to sell, and last month came out with a statement denying any decision to sell these networks has been made.
“While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time, The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property, and any report to that effect is unfounded,” the company said in a statement on its site.
The statement was in response to rumors that Nexstar was circling the affiliates for its portfolio of local broadcast stations and possibly all of ABC. Nexstar executive Tom Carter, who in August stepped down as president and chief operating officer and is now an advisor to the CEO, told an audience at an investor conference last month that a deal was conceivable.
“ABC’s portfolio of stations is modest,” he said. “There may be a few stations that would require divestiture of either a Nexstar station or an ABC station, but we could onboard those with relatively little friction.”
Disney is reportedly looking at a lot of options right now to sell off some assets, including Disney’s streaming services in India. At this time we will have to wait and see what Disney does next, but multiple buyers are showing interest in the company.