Disney mulling a radio group spinoff

July 12, 2005 at 2:40 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 12 (UPI) -- California's Walt Disney Co. is considering a tax-free spinoff of its $3 billion radio station and network group.

The fate of the group, which consists of 71 stations and a separate radio network that reaches 4,500 affiliate stations, has been the subject of discussions within Disney for years.

But with Chief Executive-designate Robert Iger's influence growing, the opposition of current Chief Executive Michael Eisner may be waning, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

One possibility is a so-called reverse Morris trust: Disney would contribute debt to the radio unit to extract some cash, then spin off and merge the business with another radio company, with Disney shareholders holding at least 50 percent of the new company's combined equity to limit tax liabilities.

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