Why Apple Should Buy Disney, Says RBC

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

It would be "logical" for Apple Inc. to buy Walt Disney Co. , as it would allow Apple to replicate its music-iTunes strategy in the content-media space, said analyst Amit Daryanani at RBC Capital. While the odds of deal are "low," Daryanani said he sees a "confluence of events that make an acquisition of [Disney] a 'greater than 0%' probability event." He suggested the odds could increase if Apple is able to access the more-than $200 billion in cash it has overseas through a repatriation tax holiday. Disney's market capitalization was about $178.7 billion, according to FactSet. Daryanani said a deal would accelerate Apple's push into services and content, with Apple instantly leapfrogging Netflix Inc. , Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube in content. "There are plenty of factors to consider, but such a deal would create a tech/media juggernaut like no other and instantly scale [Apple's] services, content and media portfolio, which would make the case for a higher valuation," Daryanani wrote in a note to clients. Apple's stock slipped 0.3% and Disney shares inched up 0.1% in premarket trade. Year to date, Apple's stock has soared 22%, Disney shares have climbed 8.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 4.7%.

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