Disney eyes U.K. acquisition targets

Bob Iger looks to expand abroad

LONDON — Disney topper Bob Iger has indicated his interest in making further acquisitions in the U.K. — but declined to name names.

“I would say that without being specific there are existing companies in the U.K. that we are looking at, but we don’t cite specific companies,” he said at a London breakfast briefing ahead of the European preem of Disney Channel hit “Camp Rock.”

He added: “We like companies that fit well in the ESPN Disney brands. We like companies that have a face or future in new technology.

“We like companies that are likely to grow because they become part of The Walt Disney Company. We like companies that have solid management and growth of their own.”

Asked about battling British terrestrial web ITV Iger said: “Everybody’s looked at ITV, haven’t they?”

While the likes of NBC Universal and Sony have bought stakes in U.K. shingles Disney has to date preferred to adopt a different strategy regarding British acquisitions.

It owns a minority stake in breakfast broadcaster GMTV and more recently acquired the award-winning U.K. games studio Black Rock.

However, there has been speculation that Disney might be interested in acquiring Virgin Media’s 50% stake in pay TV channel provider UKTV.

As for the bigger picture, the Mouse House CEO said the Disney business was proving resilient despite tough economic conditions although the crisis was not over yet.

He said: “Our business has been quite resilient. Global theme parks have held up extremely well.”

Iger added that the conglom had been helped “immeasurably” by its activities outside the U.S. and by the relative weakness of the U.S. dollar, which had helped attract overseas tourists to its U.S. theme parks.