money digest


Backdating might cost Disney

The Walt Disney Co. could end up paying as much as $33.5 million to rectify improper backdating of stock options valued at $323 million that were granted to employees of Pixar Animation Studios before Disney acquired the firm, according to a regulatory filing. The unexercised options were given to rank-and-file Pixar employees, not top executives, the Disney filing said. Disney did not say how many Pixar employees received backdated options that converted to the right to buy Disney stock after the company bought the studio.

Bertelsmann acquires Bookspan

German media firm Bertelsmann AG, owner of the Random House book publishing operation, said Tuesday that its DirectGroup unit has bought the 50% stake held by Time Warner's Time Inc. division in Bookspan, owner of 40 book clubs, including the Book-of-the-Month Club. The companies, which established the Bookspan venture in 2000, didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal. Bookspan will be integrated into BMG Columbia House, the largest U.S. direct-to-consumer distributor of music and movies, with division president and CEO Stuart Goldfarb leading the combined entity.