Published: October 1, 2009 at 6:25 AMUniversal is staring at an enormous debt load and could have their hand forced into selling if Comcast is giving them a serious offer.
Busch-Inbev does not have a gun to its head and will only sell its parks at a strong valuation (read: 3.5+ billion).
Also Blackstone may be interested in exiting the Universal investment so it can get out of the non-compete so that it can buy Busch Entertainment and roll it in with Merlin
Currently Blackstone and any Blackstone affiliate cannot have interest in another Florida theme park without permission from Universal/Vivendi (per the Loan Docs). The only way for Blackstone to get out of this agreement (other than refinancing or a sale) is to pay Universal a large fee for waiving that clause.
Published: October 1, 2009 at 8:40 AMPart of the open thread... Today Disney World opened in Orlando in 1971, so Happy Birthday WDW.
Published: October 1, 2009 at 4:47 PM"dying days of the Eisner regime?!"
In his final months he fought off Comcast (better yet, make that LAUGHED OFF Comcast); he told Steve Jobs (Pixar) "if you can find a better horse, then go with it" (of course Jobs couldn't); and he hand picked his successor (Robert Iger).
And let's all be clear, Eisner was NOT seeking to re-up with Disney. He ran the company for 21 years and (without question) left on his own terms.
Published: October 1, 2009 at 4:50 PMLet's make sure everyone is clear: The Inbev/Blackstone deal is PURE speculation at this point. Also let's make sure everyone is aware that Blackstone/Merlin has corporate STATED principles which indicate they will NOT run parks that feature animals performing tricks (as in Shamu and dolphins jumping to rock music soundtracks.