Digest: Disney's A-OK; Yahoo buy
Bookings at Disney's theme parks are strong for the December quarter and there is no evidence of a downturn caused by the U.S. economy, CFO Tom Staggs said Monday. Staggs also told attendees of the Merrill Lynch Media and Entertainment Conference that bookings for the fiscal first quarter were up compared with a year ago. "The estimation of how exposed our theme park business is to the economic cycle is probably a bit high," he said. In August, Disney said fiscal fourth-quarter domestic attendance comparisons would be challenging given the company's successful 50th anniversary celebration last year. Disney shares fell fractionally Monday to $33.38.
MoMedia for Endemol
Television content producer Endemol has taken a 25% stake in British multimedia production company MoMedia, Endemol parent company Mediaset said Monday. The $30 million deal for MoMedia capped a busy day for Mediaset, as Italian stock market regulator Consob said that the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority took a 2.1% stake in Mediaset, a deal worth about $220 million. The deal for MoMedia adds more content capabilities for Holland-based Endemol, the creator of the "Big Brother" franchise and other reality programs.
Yahoo said Monday that it will buy e-mail software maker Zimbra for about $350 million. Yahoo said Zimbra will help Yahoo expand its mail offerings and raise the Internet company's presence in businesses and universities by enabling them to host e-mail by themselves or elsewhere, while retaining their own domain names. Zimbra offers e-mail, calendar and contact management tools through an open platform that lets users tailor the features and tie them with other Web services. Yahoo shares rose fractionally Monday to $24.95.